Westland MS - Counseling Hot Topics

These resources may not be sponsored or endorsed by the Board of Education of Montgomery County, the superintendent, or this school.

Information Regarding the Release of 13 Reasons Why, Season 2

NASP Guidance for Reinforcing Safe, Supportive and Positive School Environments for All Students  


Talking to Your Kids About School

Cyber Bullying Resources

Cyber Bullying Resources #2  

Cyber Bullying Resources #3 – Notes from Dr. Patchin’s Parent Presentation 

Creating Closeness with your Children

Can Summer Reading be Fun?

 Self Injury Presentation by Joan Goodman – Resource #1   

 Self Injury Presentation by Joan Goodman – Resource #2  

Self Injury Presentation by Joan Goodman – Resource #3  

 Self Injury Presentation by Joan Goodman – Notes 

Westland Counseling Useful Links

Middle School Course Bulletin 2023-2024

High School Course Bulletin and 4 Year Plan 

Student Leadership and Service Opportunities: (http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/volunteercenter/ )

Our Feeder Schools:
Bethesda ES (K-5)
Somerset ES (K-5)
Westbrook ES (K-5)  

Our High School:

Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School (9-12)     


Mental Health and Wellness Month

Monday is Mental Health and Wellness day and today we are going to talk about STRESS. Stress is the body's way of responding to a threat, a challenge or physical and psychological tension by increasing your heart rate and your breathing.

Kids our age get stressed over many different situations: stress can come from inside us, from parents, teachers, siblings, peers, peer pressure, work at school, sports we practice, and other things. These stresses are part of our existence and not all stress is bad. But, when the stress is intense it can take a toll on body and mind. Here are 7 tips to cope with the stresses of daily life:

1.       Overscheduling – Overscheduling does not leave time for downtime. Our brain and body need to rest.

2.       Make time for play – Make play with no pressure, just fun. Combine play with physical activities like riding a bike, throwing around the baseball, hiking, etc.

3.       Make sleep a priority – Sleep is vital for boosting your mood, raising your grades and school performance. Get electronics out of your bedroom and sleep for at least 9 hours.

4.       Listen to your body – If you have too many headaches or stomach aches you are stressed out. Slow down.

5.       Get organized – Keep up with your work at school so you don’t get behind. Trying to catch up on work that snowballs will make you stressed out.

6.       Learn to deal with mistakes – Understand that everybody makes mistakes and enjoy the feeling of getting out of a bad situation as a success.

7.       Wellness – Learn relaxation techniques like breathing and meditation for kids.


Topic: Prevention of Underage Drinking and Alcohol Misuse with Tips to Avoid Getting Caught in Difficult Situations        Part #1

Statistics on Youth and Drinking….

  • Drinking is a serious public health problem in the United States.
  • By age 15, about 33% of teens have had at least 1 drink.
  • By age 18, about 60% of teens have had at least 1 drink.

Negative Impact of Drinking on Youth…

It is the most widely used substance of abuse among America’s youth.  Drinking among America’s young people poses enormous health and safety risks.

  • Aggressive behaviors
  • Property damage
  • Injury
  • Violence and death
  • Impaired judgement
  • Poor decision making
  • Engaging in risky behaviors
  • Drinking and driving
  • Sexual activity (unprotected sex)
  • Trouble in school or with the law
  • Associated use with other drugs
  • Can alter brain development, structure, function, cognitive and learning problems

Tips to Avoid Getting Caught in Difficult Situations     Part #2

How to Build Drink Refusal Skills:

  • Plan ahead to Stay in Control:
  • Two types of Social Pressure:
    • Direct Social Pressure- Someone offers you a drink
    • Indirect Social Pressure- You are tempted to drink because you are around other drinkers
  • Pre-think your resistance strategies:
  • Leave the scene with an excuse
  • You are on an antibiotic and can’t mix your medication with alcohol
  • You can’t drink and drive
  • Just avoid going to the activity
  • Be clear, firm, friendly and respectful with your “No Thank You...”
  • No long explanation is needed
  • No vague excuses are needed
  • Look directly at the person you are talking to and make eye contact
  • Keep responses short, clear and simple

Remember, it is your choice, body and life.

Information taken from National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism online 5/7/2018 

Rethinking Drinking: Alcohol and Your Health online 5/7/2018

Today we are focusing on the prevention of opiod and prescription drugs and the illicit use of marijuana.. Some prescription drugs can become addictive. The most commonly abused prescription drugs are pain relievers or opiods, tranquilizers and sedatives, and stimulants.

Marijuana is the MOST commonly used and abused drug in the United States, especially among adolescents and young adults. Most people use marijuana to make them feel happy or detached from reality but there are negative effects on your mind and mood too, For example--A distorted sense of time, paranoia, anxiety, depression and forgetfulness.

Don’t be afraid to say to NO: Sometimes our fear of what our friends think keeps us from doing what is right. Don’t let someone else make decisions for you!!

The harmful effects of Vaping and e-cigarettes

Why shouldn’t I use E-cigarettes?

Science shows that e-cigarettes contain ingredients that are addictive and could harm different parts of your body.

Right now your brain is still developing, which makes you more vulnerable to addiction.

I thought e-cigarettes didn’t have nicotine – just water and flavoring?

I used to think that too, but many e-cigarettes have nicotine and also other chemicals in them that can be quite harmful. 

What’s the big deal about nicotine?

  • Nicotine is addictive
  • Using it at a young age may make it harder for you to concentrate, learn, or control your impulses.
  • Nicotine can even train your brain to be more easily addicted to other drugs.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention/Office on Smoking and Health