The beginning of the Fall 2022 Semester brings a new mental health specialist to the THS campus.
Counselor Mary Margaret Bollato is a Licensed Professional Counselor available to all students seeking help. Anxiety, home life, stress, depression, and adjusting to the start of the new school year are all issues that may impact the student body. Bollato seeks to support her fellow counselors in their encouragement and assistance in achieving the social and emotional wellness of students.
Bollato hopes to set a precedent for other schools across the country. She feels the rise in mental health teams at high schools is cause for excitement.
“This is something that has been needed for a very long time,” she said.
Mental health is a key component in the function and success of a school, and her presence at THS is another step forward for the district.
“Tomball is definitely at the forefront,” she said. “I aim to create and support a model that will add more of me.”
Shifting from shame to understanding is an indispensable factor in getting students the help they need.
“The main thing with mental health is stigma,” Bollato said. “There is good in anxiety, and we just need to regulate it.”
Her office acts as a valuable asset and sanctuary for students, with the information shared with her remaining anonymous.
“It’s all confidential, unless a student is going to harm themselves or somebody,” Bollato said. “The whole point is to build a therapeutic relationship; trust and confidentiality [are] key component[s].”
Any student that wants or needs her support is welcome. They’re generally referred to Bollato via their own counselors, but appointments can be made at the front desk or for crisis situations. If a student is struggling, they are urged to seek help.
“You can’t have academic health without mental health,” Ballato said. “I believe in finding balance in life.”
Bollato understands that high school is often an overwhelming and difficult time for students.
“At the end of the day, life is a journey,” she said. “There’s always hope, and hope wins.”