Natural Helpers creates online resources

Club partners with “Change to Chill” to develop virtual classroom


Ena Mekic

Natural Helpers discuss plans for the new virtual classroom Oct. 24. They meet at 7:45 a.m. every other Monday in C163.

Modesty Manion and Johanna Kaplan

Natural Helpers, a student-led counseling group, is working again this fall to improve the mental health of Park students. In the process of putting together a virtual classroom, Natural Helpers president Sophia Earle said she looks forward to upcoming projects. 

“We’re starting to get our virtual chill classroom up and running, so this would be a way that students can get online resources for mental health (and) know who to contact,” Earle said. “We will also be working on an in-person chill room where students can (during the day) come and talk to us, or just take a breather and do some coloring.”

According to co-adviser Kerstin Merrill, Natural Helpers will be a great outlet for students seeking help. 

“(I am glad we are) reidentifying what we can do to help a student and to help promote more awareness and access to mental health resources for students who are new to the building or may not know how to get them,” Merrill said.

Earle said that the ideas and topics that the group tackles are ever changing.

“We have a different goal to accomplish each meeting and then at the end of the semester we have to work on (planning) ‘chill week,’” Earle said.

Co-advisor Barb Nelson said she appreciates the positive environment that the members of Natural Helpers foster.

“It’s great when you have students that want to help other students (and) are concerned about wellbeing and mental health,” Nelson said.

In partnership with “Change to Chill,” Earle said Natural Helpers will host a “chill week” at the end of the semester to help students let off some steam.

“‘Change to Chill’ is an organization that we work with and they give students mental health resources,” Earle said. “For the ‘chill week’ at the end of the semester, it’ll be a week of fun activities to help people de-stress from the chaos of the end of the semester.”

Freshman Audery Tuite said Natural Helpers invites new members because of how small the group is currently.

“I would encourage people to join,” Tuite said. “At the moment we’re a pretty small group and it would be good to have more people.”

Earle said she encourages students to join Natural Helpers because of the joy that helping others creates and the importance of such student-oriented resources.

“It is a great environment,” Earle said. “Every time I am here during the club (and) helping out with people, it makes me so happy that students have this outlet — this way they can reach out to us.”

Students interested in joining Natural Helpers can attend one of their before-school meetings at 7:45 a.m. every other Monday in room C163. The group also posts updates on their Instagram, @slphsnaturalhelpers.