Counseling Corner Newsletter

Knowing When to Get Help

Caregivers' Corner

Whether you are taking care of a Somerville student or are a Somerville staff member taking care of others in your home, it's important for all caregivers to know what signs to look out for that a child may need more support. Here are some notes from VDV's own Dr. Marrocco and Ms. Agnello about what to look out for:


Elementary-age children typically tend to be concrete and literal and have limited vocabulary on their feelings/ emotions. As a result, during this time, they may be more irritable, act out, and/ or act immaturely.


You can help by:

  • Helping them label their feelings (example: I see that you're feeling angry - your breathing heavily, your eyebrows are down etc.)
  • Model coping strategies for them (example: taking deep breaths when upset)

You may need some extra support if you’re seeing:

  • Withdrawal from the family or activities they once enjoyed

  • Loss of appetite or sleep disturbance

  • Loss of contact with friends

  • Quick to anger

  • Aggression


For children ages 0 -19 years old, check out this fact sheet from SAMSHA (en Espanol) sorted by age groups for talking tips, typical responses, and warning signs that a child may need higher levels of support.

Teens' Corner

If you're having difficulty coping with stress or other emotions, check out these handouts about coping with difficult situations and when you may need to reach out for extra help.

Adults' Corner

During a high stress time like this it is important for us, as adults, to monitor our own mental health. In order to keep our mental health a priority, we must know the signs of anxiety and stress, how to relieve our stress, and where to go to seek additional support, if needed. This user-friendly SAMHSA tip sheet (en Espanol) will help you better understand what to look out for and how to alleviate and manage your stress, and it will also provide you with a variety of resources, including sources for credible outbreak-related health information.
If you believe someone is in need of extra support or may need information about outside mental health services (non-emergency), please contact the appropriate staff member below.

School-Based Mental Health Services

Van Derveer School

Dr. Dana Marrocco - dmarrocco@somervilleschools.org

Ms. Paige Agnello - pagnello@somervilleschools.org


Somerville Middle School

Dr. Ellie Sroczynski - hsroczynski@somervilleschools.org


Somerville High School

Mrs. Ashley Joshi - ajoshi@somervilleschools.org

Mr. Douglas Graiver - dgraiver@somervilleschools.org

Dr. Ellyn Stein (M.A.P.S. Program) - estein@somervilleschools.org


District Director of Special Services

Dr. Tanya McDonald - tmcdonald@somervilleschools.org

If you or someone you know is in immediate need of mental health support, please call 9-1-1 and/ or refer to the flyer below of hotlines and services provided by the NJ Department of Children and Families.
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