School Clinician

Fall 2018

Welcome Back everyone!

It is amazing how fast time flies! I hope you all had a great and restful summer, and are ready to begin a great new year! I am very excited to be back and look forward to having a great new year!

A quick introduction to those of you who do not know me; my name is Deb Harrison and I am the School-Based Clinician here at Black River Middle School and High School. My office is in the Guidance Department, next to the Main Office. Feel free to stop by, or contact me by my direct phone line at 802-875-4744. You can also contact me via email if that is easier for you at PLEASE do not leave me an email if it is a crisis, as it is not always a timely way to reach me, and also DO NOT leave personal information/details on an email, as I can not guarantee its confidentiality. My phone is a much more private way to communicate with me.

My job is to provide therapeutic, mental health services to the students at Black River. I typically work with students whose emotional difficulties interfere with their ability to function in school, at home, or in the community. Some common issues include managing symptoms of anxiety, depression, substance abuse, trauma, stress or pain. I can help kids prepare for major transitions or support them through changes. I work with students who struggle with issues of grief, loss, abuse and other relationship issues. ‘Work’ could be in the form of individual, family or group counseling; skills building and development, case management, advocacy or information/resource sharing. I can provide mental health crisis support during the school schedule. IF YOU HAVE A MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS AND IT IS AFTER SCHOOL HOURS OR YOU CAN NOT REACH ME, PLEASE CALL THE CRISIS TEAM AT 1-800-622-4235!

If you are looking for emotional support or resources for your Black River Student, or if you have concerns that you would like to discuss, please feel free to call me at the 875-4744 number. Everything discussed with me is confidential unless it is an issue of reporting abuse or neglect. I am unable to share any information, even with the school, without written parental permission.

Wishing everyone a great and healthy school year!


Good Morning!

Sept 8-11 is Suicide Prevention Awareness week. I have included an excellent video on teen suicidality, and most important, what to do if you suspect your child is struggling with depression, or considering suicide.

As the school year starts, we know that this can be a time of stress and anxiety for many kids. Major changes in schedules, peers, season, all can contribute to feeling overwhelmed and hopeless. Unfortunately we also know that some people, especially young people, consider suicide as a way to manage. One proven way to decrease suicide in our community is to increase awareness of this issue and to know the warning signs. A few of these signs are:

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings
  • Giving away possessions
  • *Warning signs from

As a way to increase awareness here at school, tomorrow I will be asking all students to add the National Suicide Hotline number into their phones. We know that hotline numbers help many who are in need of immediate support, and this is a great way for students to have the number if ever they need it for themselves, their friends, or their families. I would recommend you add this to your phone as well; it is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

YOU DO NOT NEED TO DEAL WITH THIS ALONE! We know that the more we talk to others, share with others, connect with others, this prevents suicide. IF YOU ARE CONCERNED about your student being at risk, PLEASE call me at 802-875-4744, or call the local crisis team at 1-800-622-4235. I can provide you with information, resources, education, or support. No concern is too minor. Again, we know increased awareness works to prevent teen suicide. Please talk about this with your children; let them know I will be giving them the number tomorrow, and that I am a resource if they are worried about themselves or a friend being at risk.

Thank you for your time!


Additional Resources:


· or 866-488-7386 suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth

· - For the prevention of teen suicide