Natural Helpers

Natural Helpers is a national program.  Those selected are a cross section of students identified through an anonymous school wide survey. Ideally those chosen are representatives of all the subgroups in the school community.  They are invited to participate in the Natural Helpers program.  If they accept, they are trained as Natural Helpers.  The training consists of Retreat Training and Ongoing
Training, and the process continues indefinitely, with a different group of students
selected each year.

Tri-Valley Natural Helpers are a group of students who are selected by their peers and staff who have shown a natural skill for helping others.  They are trained to handle a variety of situations and to keep what they are told confidential.  They have been a wonderful resource for other students and they are an asset to our school.  Ms. Booze is the advisor for the Natural Helpers.  The Natural Helper program is funded by the Safe School Committee.


What do Natural Helpers Do?

  Beyond participating in Retreat Training and Ongoing Training, students play a variety of roles as Natural  Helpers.  Among them:

 *Continuing to help their friends with their concerns.
 *Recognizing when people have serious problems like depression, chemical
dependency, and abuse-- and referring them to trained helping resources.

 *Working with members of their helping team to discuss issues and specific
   --Providing accurate information.
   -- Becoming more involved with their school and community.
   -- Lending a sympathetic ear to loners and new students.

    The program is sufficiently flexible to allow students to choose roles that are most comfortable for them.  We suggest that, just as the title of the program indicates, students choose roles that are "natural".  For the most part, Natural Helpers continue to do what they always do --quietly help their friends.

What Happens at the Retreat Training?

    Students and adults selected to be Natural Helpers attend a 2-day training session in a retreat setting.  There they get accurate information and learn a Helping Skill to use with their friends.  Just as important, they begin to form a cohesive group from what was a collection of very diverse individuals.  Among the topics addressed during the Retreat Training 
*Taking care of oneself.
*Working as a team.
Knowing when friends need help.
Expressing care and concern.
Expressing limits.
Recognizing situations which require professional helping resources.
Contacting a resource.

    The training also begins to focus Natural Helpers' attention on the problems that students in their school consider the most important.



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