Message from the Superintendent

May 16, 2022

Dear OUSD Community,

As identified in Focus Area 3.0 -- “Genuine Wellness and Safety”-- of the OUSD EDGE Strategic Plan, our district promotes a culture that nurtures students, staff, and parents' emotional health, safety, and well-being. Mental health and social/emotional well-being are critical to student learning, and our schools play an essential role in fostering and supporting the well-being of our students. When caring adults at our schools develop nurturing relationships with students, it solidifies the student’s connections to their school, family, and community. Those relationships are vital to a student’s mental health and overall well-being.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. In support of this effort, the Student & Community Services office would like to remind our community of the resources available to our students, extended families, and staff. Our OUSD website offers General Mental Health, Crisis and Emergency Resources, and Parent Education and Workshops.

It is important to remember that all of our school campuses staff highly trained counselors available to support our students. School counselors are implementing activities for Mental Health Awareness Month. There is also an Elementary Counselor Website on our website that parents can access. Below is a sample list of elementary campus activities:

Parents are encouraged to participate with their students in these wellness activities and ideas for home.

Our secondary counselors have also planned and facilitated various Mental Health Awareness activities for all grade levels. The district office is continuing to expand Wellness Centers on secondary campuses with our newest center at Villa Park High School opening fully for the 2022-23 school year. Our High School Counselors have worked diligently in the planning of campus-wide events for Mental Health Awareness Month with their NAMI clubs.

We have also launched the Signs of Suicide (SOS) program at Cerro Villa Middle School this year. SOS will be rolled out to all middle schools and our high schools next school year.

It is important for our communities to know that our district has a Crisis Intervention Team made up of specialized trained professionals such as counselors and psychologists that can address the needs of our students, staff, and community during difficult times. Our district works closely with Care Solace, the Orange County Department of Education, and other community partners to enhance our support and resources.

Care Solace is an online resource with a live 24/7 concierge line meant to assist individuals in finding local mental health-related programs and counseling services. Care Solace is available for use by Orange Unified students, staff, and families at no cost. Care Solace does not require a user’s name, address, phone number, or date of birth. All the information that is entered on their platform is completely confidential and stored securely.

If you are interested in seeking counseling-related services at this time, please consider visiting and/or visiting your school counselor.

The Orange Unified School District fosters a culture that promotes our students, staff, and community health, safety, and well-being. We thank you for your partnership in supporting the well-being of our students.

Warmest Regards,
Gunn Marie Hansen, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Orange Unified School District

Big picture

We invite you to take a moment to follow Orange Unified on social media to receive the District’s latest news and announcements. Social media may also be a critical line of communication during emergencies and will be an excellent place for you to get up to date information: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube