Getting to Know Ms. Botty – Part One

Getting+to+Know+Ms.+Botty+-+Part+One

Emma Polhemus, Contributor

Frame of Mind is a Bancroft club focused on spreading awareness of and promoting mental health on campus. Since this year has been challenging for all of us, we wanted to make sure you all know about an amazing mental health resource we have on campus—our school mental health counselor! Since she can’t meet you all in person right now (although she would love to!), Frame of Mind decided to do the next best thing and introduce Ms. Botty and her work at Bancroft with this interview. Look for Part 2 coming up in the next issue!

Q: What is one thing you wish people knew about counseling? What about mental health? 

A: What I wish that people knew or understood about counseling is that you do not have to be acutely distressed to reach out to someone for supportive counseling. We all have “mental health” and finding someone to assist you with keeping your mental health in balance simply makes good common sense. Unfortunately, for reasons that still mystify me in 2020, there is still a stigma surrounding mental health. We are talking about the brain… no shame!

Q: What are some situations or mental health concerns you help students with and how do you help them? 

A: I would say the most prevalent mental health concern of late is supporting students with managing stress, anxiety and depression. Relationship concerns and conflict management is also something that I frequently work with. I help by assisting a student to identify concerns, articulate their specific needs, then support them as they learn techniques and tools to manage their mental health. It is very much a proactive engagement that requires a student to make a decision to commit to the process. However, as I mentioned before, sometimes all a student is looking for is a safe space where they can let loose and vent without the expectation that something needs to be “fixed.” I am happy to provide both.

Q: Do you take appointments? Can people just walk in? 

A: Pre-Covid I did take walk-ins at the Health Center. However, due to Covid health and safety protocols, currently I see US students by appointment only. I meet with them in the small dining room which affords privacy as they can enter and exit through the outside door and do not have to walk through the study hall (former dining room).

Q: Do you meet with students outside of school? 

A: My license as a Mental Health Counselor requires me to follow a strict set of guidelines and boundaries. Because I am employed by Bancroft School, I cannot meet with any student for mental health support outside of this setting.

Q: How can students reach out to you? 

A: The best way for students to reach out to me is through email (cbotty@bancroftschool.org).

Q: Why did you decide to become a school counselor? 

A: I have worked in many different environments such as the courts, hospitals, colleges but the opportunity to work at a PreK-12 school very much appealed to me as we could be proactive in teaching emotional regulation techniques at such an early age.

Q: Anything else you want to add? 

A: I would like to add some contact info for important resources that Frame of Mind usually displays on their Bulletin boards. These are 24/7, confidential, and free of charge support lines that provide a listening ear.    

  • Call2Talk: Text C2T to 741741→ Crisis text line 
  • Samariteens: 1-800-252-TEEN→ Suicide prevention/ mental health support             
  • The Trevor Project: LGBTQ+ Suicide prevention and mental health support→    1-866-488-7386 or text TREVOR to 1-202-304-1200 
  • Trans Lifeline: support for transgender people by transgender people→ 1-877-565-8860
  • Helpline: for substance use/abuse concerns→  1-800-327-5050  or online at Helpline MA.org
  • Daybreak Hotline: Domestic Violence support and resources→  508-755-9030
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