AJ Grutsch | Podcast editor
After working as the WHS Spanish Teacher for two and a half years, David Amer is adding another role in the district this year.
Amer is now also the district mental health liaison for WHS who works with Crosswinds, an organization focused on giving therapy to those who need it within the school run by the Kansas Department of Education.
This program is not just for the students of WHS but rather the entire district, including Maple Hill and Alma Elementary and Paxico Junior High. “I hope to help all of our lovely students,” Amer said.
Amer will be the “intake” for those students looking to improve their mental health, meaning that he will be the first person the students talk to and decide which students should seek further help. “We pull you in to talk, see what’s going on, and find out what level of help you need,” Amer said.
Different levels of help could range from talking with the school counselor, Mr. Sullivan, or speaking with an employee of Crosswinds, like school based case manager Melissa Watson. This is all in an effort to simplify therapy and make connections from students to mental health professionals from inside the school. “Anyone can come see me, not just for crosswinds but any student that has something to say, be it good, bad, or ugly. My door is always open and I usually have snacks,” Watson said.
Amer said he is enthusiastic to take on the new role. “I feel excited for this new opportunity and fortunate that I still get to work with our students.”
Amer is still teaching Spanish as well, although his course load was reduced to two periods.
Amer also wants students to be aware that they are free to stop by his office for a chat or tour of his new room, which is located across the hall from his Spanish classroom. “Don’t be a stranger,” Amer said.