Ms. Betts

Hello students and families! My name is Ms. Betts, and I am one of two social workers at GWHS. I cover the students with last names A-L. I attended Ball State University for undergraduate studies and IUPUI for graduate school. I have worked with youth and families since 2004. I joined the GWHS family in the Spring of 2020 and I look forward to working with all of you.

Email: bettsc@myips.org

Phone: (317)622-8794 call/text

Mrs. Perkins

Greetings! My name is Ms. Perkins; I will cover students with the last names M-Z. This is my 11th school year as a school social worker, and I love working with high school students and their families. I joined the GWHS family in Fall 2018 and look forward to another amazing year working with all of you!

Email: perkinscarla@myips.org

Phone: (317) 643-4997 call/text

Ms. Williams

Hello! My name is Mrs. Williams and I am the social work intern for the 2020-2021 school year. I earned my undergraduate degree from Purdue University and will be graduating from the IU School of Social Work in May 2021 with my graduate degree. I have enjoyed working with youth for the past six years and youth and families for the last three years. I am looking forward to a great year collaborating with you all! 

Email: Cont721bsw@myips.org

Phone: (317) 643-0289 call/text

What Can You Expect from a School Social Worker?

School Social Workers are here to assist students with barriers to learning. Social workers can connect families to community resources and connect students to school based programs such as counseling or tutoring. If a student has thoughts or feelings they need help expressing or understanding, the social workers are available to have one on one meetings. Social workers will also facilitate small group discussions for students.

How to request help 

Virtual– Students, parents, and teachers can request help 24 hours a day using this form: https://forms.gle/JJVgQhEXKpyD5wod7. Responses will be provided during school hours. 

Email– Mrs. Perkins perkinscarla@myips.org   Ms. Betts bettsc@myips.org 

Schoology– Students can send direct messages to Mrs. Perkins and Ms. Betts on Schoology

Virtual Office Hours- Social Work virtual office hours will be posted weekly in your cohort groups on Schoology. Social workers will be live on Microsoft Teams during those times, to speak with students.

Holiday Assistance Indianapolis 2020

Good Samaritan Network

Address:12933 Parkside Drive

Fishers, IN 46038

Call the Hamilton County charity at (317) 842-2603

The center has free holiday clothes, gifts, presents, games and a food box to eligible low-income persons. There is both a Thanksgiving and Christmas program run. Turkey dinners, meals, stuffings, and more items are offered.

Mother Against Violence Healing Ministry

Address: 4039 Graceland Street

Indianapolis, Indiana, 46208

Phone: 317-400-5511

This is a Marion County Toys for Tots distribution site. Free Christmas gifts for kids under the age of 15. There may be clothes, games, tablets, dolls, stuffed animals, and more.

Christmas Programs for Salvation Army

There are several centers in the region. The charity operates programs such as Angel Tree or Adopt a Family, and these are focused on children from low income families. Key partners of the holiday programs are both the United Way as well as Toys for Tots as well. They may receive free clothes, toys, games, or other items. Meals are provided (including at Thanksgiving or Easter), and some Salvation Army centers in Indianapolis may offer funds for bills or access to food pantries for seasonal items.

  • 725 E Washington St, Indianapolis, Indiana, (317) 236-1255
  • 3100 N Meridian St, Indianapolis, IN, dial (317) 937-7000
  • Salvation Army center address is 82 West 2nd Street, Peru, IN 46970, (765) 473-5498
  • 8310 E Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46219. Call the center at (317) 897-3723
  • 1337 Shelby St, Indianapolis, IN, (317) 632-0156
  • 4400 N High School Rd, Indianapolis, Indiana 46254, phone (317) 299-4454
  • Location – 325 Market Plaza, Greenwood, IN 46142, (317) 881-8948
  • 1285 Indiana, Greenwood, IN 46142, (317) 881-6216

Teen Mental Health and the Holidays 

TIS THE SEASON OF peace, joy and love. But if you’re a kid who struggles with depression, anxiety or an eating disorder, you may not feel like spreading good cheer. Or imagine being a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and having the unnerving task of sitting still through excruciatingly long services or holiday performances, all while hoping that you don’t make it on the naughty list. Many adults don’t look forward to all the festive events; and rest assured, kids with ADHD most likely don’t have it on their wish lists either.

Frequently for kids, home for the holidays means no routine, irregular sleep schedules, lots of sweets, crowded places and being around rarely seen relatives. We’re continually being reminded that everything should be merry and bright because “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.” But that’s not necessarily the reality for many.

It’s a disheartening fact that far too many of the nation’s youth struggle with one or more mental illnesses. According to a study published in The Journal of Pediatrics in March, about 1.9 million kids ages 3 to 17 years have been diagnosed with depression and 4.4 million have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. It’s not just anxiety and depression kids struggle with, either. Kids struggle with other conditions like ADHD and eating disorders as well. According to a 2018 study in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, nearly 6.1 million kids ages 2 to 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD.

While not as common, eating disorders are also frequently diagnosed in adolescents. According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, teens are among those at the highest risk for an eating disorder; as many as 1 in 10 young women suffer from an eating disorder. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 3% of youth ages 13 to 18 have been diagnosed with an eating disorder, and most of them are girls.

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg. Research published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology finds that, within the past decade, the number of youth with mental health disorders has more than doubled. According to a 2019 study published in JAMA Pediatrics, about half of all of the children with a mental health disorder did not receive the necessary treatment for their condition from a mental health professional. It’s a stark reminder that far too many youth are struggling emotionally, psychologically and physically. For these kids, the pressure of the holidays can worsen and exacerbate their conditions.

If you are the parent of a child who suffers from depression, anxiety or another mental health disorder, you know all too well that the holidays do not bring out the merry in your child. That said, there are some ways you can help support your kid’s mental health during the hustle and bustle of the season.

Find the Calm in the Storm

We are creatures of habit and for the most part, we crave order. When things get chaotic, as often happens during the holiday season, we get stressed and so do our kids. Be mindful of how you’re feeling, and imagine that your child may be experiencing the same feelings about upcoming holiday gatherings or changes in traditions due to the pandemic.

Be open and honest, and share your feelings with your teen. 

Maintain a Healthy Sleep Schedule

With many schools being on lengthy winter breaks, it’s easy to stay up late and sleep away the day. This disruption in the sleep cycle can affect a kid’s mental health. Sleep-deprived teens may turn to substances like caffeinated drinks, including coffee or energy drinks, to put some pep in their step, but these drinks only provide a temporary fix.

Also, be wary of the late-night electronic use as it too can wreak havoc on a sleep schedule.

In a study published in the journal Sleep Medicine, youth who are on their devices at least five hours a day were 50% more likely to not get enough sleep. And insufficient sleep is associated with higher rates of anxiety, depression, obesity and even poor school performance. Kids with mental health issues need adequate sleep, and according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, for teens that’s defined as eight to 10 hours per night.

Discourage Isolation, But Let Kids Limit Social Activities

If you have packed the day with fun-filled activities, don’t get discouraged or frustrated if your teen tries to bail out. Sometimes all the holiday excitement and festivities can be overwhelming, and too much can be counterproductive and even make your teen feel worse.

Resist excess. Doing things in moderation can make the holiday season more enjoyable. While you shouldn’t let your teen’s desire to hibernate keep you from challenging him or her to go out with the family, don’t push your child to do too many activities.

Remember, too, that it’s not just some teens who struggle during the holiday season. According to a recent survey from Total Brain, a mental health and fitness app, more than one-third of adults in the U.S. would happily skip the stressful holiday season. If it’s affecting that many adults, think about how it impacts youth.