Community Reacts To Wellness Programming

The Features Editors explored the school’s recent efforts to assess and improve student well-being and mental health in the community. This included student leader bystander prevention training, an all-school conversation on respect, and the presentation of data from an Authentic Connections climate survey students took last November. In addition, on February 28, Bring Change to Mind (BC2M), the school’s mental health club, held a joint meeting with other BC2M chapters from Westminster School and Deerfield Academy to discuss mental health in boarding schools. On March 2, BC2M held a fishbowl to about mental health in the school community.

Data presented below is from the Authentic Connections student survey.

Student Responses:

“I think the most surprising part was why students feel isolated: more than a third of students said race & gender, and almost 50% of students said their political views. I think that really shows how much work Hotchkiss has to do to make sure we can really accept each other.” – Max Salzinger ’25


We don’t have to necessarily use the word “reform” – that suggests going back to how it was before Covid-19. Its effects are always there, and we need to establish a new social condition with new interactions that students enjoy.” – Celina Wang ’23


“Our students like to be involved in so many things and figuring out how to relieve that pressure is hard. How can we possibly decide on what to take away from them? How do you make room for students’ well-being but make sure they are not sacrificing passions or interests?” – Ms. Jodi von Jess, Director of Counseling


“We need a much more long-term solution, rather than a one-and-done presentation. The conversation about respect was quite encouraging. We saw that at the beginning, barely anyone raised their hand, but by the end of it, people were running up. That was really nice.” – Sophia Piao ’25


“BC2M is looking to jumpstart the conversations surrounding the stigma of mental health at Hotchkiss. We are examining the impact of the deteriorating mental health of Hotchkiss students, while collaborating with the community in hopes of brainstorming and creating effective solutions that will improve the school’s climate and culture.” – Grace Keefe ’22, co-head of BC2M


“I feel like a lot of people joke around about how they’re depressed or pressured, but I don’t really have a sense of how many people among these truly need help. Even though we are very close to each other, it’s not possible for us to actually know who is in dire need of help.” – Celina Wang ’23

Clinically Significant Anxiety
Clinically Significant Depression