This NYC counselor is helping students work through COVID-era trauma
After Randy Bowen lost three family members to COVID-19, he knew he needed to prioritize the activities that center him, such as meditating and riding his bike, so that he could show up for his students at Community Health Academy of the Heights.
Bowen, a school counselor of 14 years and a certified practitioner of a trauma therapy known as EMDR, started an evening meditation group to help his students deal with pandemic-era stresses ranging from social isolation to food insecurity.
“I think the biggest hurdle to meditation for people is just taking 3-5 minutes out of the day to disconnect,” said Bowen, who began his career in finance before finding his professional calling as a school counselor.Community Health Academy in Upper Manhattan provides wraparound social services for the whole family. “While we were able to leverage our relationships with families and conduct constant outreach, technological and mental health support [during the pandemic], I think that students are ready to get back to school.”
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