"As a teacher, I try my best to listen to students, but 9 times out of 10, something else —another student, grades, paperwork —is distracting me. The gift of listening to everything a young person has to say from start to finish is immeasurable.” --SFUSD High School Teacher “I love Wellness It is the most important program in SFUSD in regards to serving teens in an American city.It is the component that makes SFUSD high schools function like true institutions of education." --SFUSD Administrator

Wellness Staff

Our skilled and caring staff members are experts in adolescent health. Each Wellness Center includes a program coordinator, school nurse, behavioral health counselor, community health outreach worker, and a team of student outreach workers, or Youth Outreach Workers (YOWs).

Wellness Centers were developed with the additional goal of linking youth to the diverse array of adolescent health services available throughout San Francisco. We bring community-based organizations to our sites to provide additional services, and we link students to public and private health care providers throughout the city.

Wellness Coordinator

The Wellness Coordinator coordinates the overall program planning and implementation of coordinated health services offered at the Wellness Center and leads the Wellness team. As the primary liaison between the Wellness Program and the school faculty/administration, the Wellness Coordinator strengthens the capacity of the school to promote a healthy school climate and facilitates ongoing communication to ensure that the Program is well-integrated within the school infrastructure.

School District Nurse

The Nurse is the primary staff member who oversees students’ physical and reproductive health needs and also provides on-site case management services for students with chronic health conditions.

Community Health Outreach Worker (CHOW)

The CHOW is responsible for outreach to both the school and the community-at-large to promote the Wellness Program and its services. Outreach includes promotion of the Wellness Program to students, school staff, parents and community-based organizations (CBOs).

Behavioral Health Counselor

The Behavioral Health Counselor provides culturally appropriate and sensitive school-based mental health and substance abuse services, including individual, group, and family treatment, clinical case management, intake assessment, clinical evaluation, and consultation services. They also provide outreach and education on mental health and substance abuse services and issues to students, families of students, community members, other professionals, school staff, and in community settings as necessary.

Youth Outreach Workers

Each Center also has 6-12 student Wellness Youth Outreach Workers (YOWs). YOWs serve as ambassadors to promote student health and wellness, and are responsible for increasing student awareness of the Wellness services and collaborating with Wellness and school staff on school-wide activities and classroom presentations.

Creating a Culture of Wellness

In addition to serving the needs of the students, Wellness Center staff members also promote a school-wide health focus by supporting staff and faculty involvement in campus health issues.

Specifically, they:

  • Educate teachers and staff about adolescent health issues;
  • Provide special activities to improve staff and faculty well-being;
  • Coordinate school-wide health awareness and education events; and,
  • Offer technical assistance to teachers interested in including supplemental health and wellness information and/or guest speakers in their classrooms.