Community Help & Intervention in Life’s Lessons

Come to Chill - Community Help & Intervention in Life's LessonsTo students, life’s problems sometimes seem too big to handle. That is why the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) established the CHILL Program in partnership with Orange County Public Schools and its Winter Park Consortium of Schools.

CHILL—Community Help & Intervention in Life’s Lessons—is a free counseling program for students of all ages in the public schools serving Winter Park and neighboring communities who need help with issues such as divorce, grief and loss, low self-esteem, anger management and depression. CHILL Counselors focus on prevention and early intervention programs. There is no cost to students or families.

Find your CHILL Counselor.

The WPHF developed and founded the CHILL program and supports a CHILL Counselor at each school in the Winter Park Consortium of Schools. (This includes Winter Park High and all of its elementary and middle feeder schools.) Individual, group and family counseling services are available. The program is operated by Healthcare Providers of Florida & Associates.

CHILL is one of several programs the Foundation supports to care for the health of the whole child. In the belief that Healthy Kids Make Better Students and Better Students Make Healthy Communities, the WPHF also provides licensed nurses in each of the Winter Park Consortium schools. CHILL Counselors and nurses work closely together to improve the physical and mental health of students and in the process, eliminate roadblocks to learning.

Students can be referred to the CHILL program by teachers, school administrators, school social workers, SAFE Coordinators, parents, school psychologists, behavior specialists and nurses. Students also can refer themselves to the program. Individual and group counseling takes place during the school day, preferably during “elective” classes so students don’t miss any core classes, and students are assured of their right to confidentiality.

The CHILL Program is not mandated or forced upon any student. CHILL Counselors understand and believe true personal growth and change cannot take place unless the participant is ready and willing to make the commitment. In addition, parental consent is required to enroll a student in the program, and CHILL counseling records don’t become part of the student’s school records.

Issues & Activities

Elementary

Elementary School CHILL Counselors are very sensitive to the needs of young children.  At this age, children may be dealing with issues such as divorce, loss of a family member, anxiety, anger problems, a substance-abusing parent, low self-esteem and behavioral challenges. CHILL Counselors enlist the support of parents in the counseling process, and many parents and families do get involved. The involvement of parents is key in all age groups.

Counselors often use art and play therapy techniques with elementary school students. Their offices are equipped with welcoming toys and games to encourage the use of play in the counseling process.  Students will find doll houses, sand trays, stuffed animals, puppets, crayons, paints and dolls to help them feel comfortable and to aid in accomplishing the therapeutic goals of the child, family and CHILL Counselor.

Middle

Middle School CHILL Counselors address many of the same issues encountered in the elementary schools.  Other prominent middle school issues include depression, body image, anger management and friend/peer relationship concerns. There also is an emphasis on working with students who may be considering—or actively experimenting with—drug and/or alcohol use and students who have had thoughts of suicide or self-harm. Middle and high school CHILL Counselors are trained and equipped to work with these students and their families and usually encounter great success when the student willingly makes the commitment to join the CHILL program.

High

High School CHILL Counselors, much like those in middle school, help students and their families tackle a wide variety of issues including stress management, test anxiety, teen pregnancy, drug and alcohol use, eating disorders and low self-esteem.  Each Counselor is proficient in the use of various counseling techniques.  Art therapy, interactive journaling and family counseling often are used by CHILL Counselors for this age group.  After the student has made progress, emphasis is often placed on helping the student prepare for his or her future.  Students are shown the importance of setting and maintaining realistic, tangible goals.

CHILL Coordinator

Aimee Jennings, LMHC

Chill Coordinator

(407) 644-0453

Aimee.Jennings@ocps.net

Aimee obtained her Masters degree from University of Central Florida in Clinical Psychology. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and a Registered Play Therapist/Supervisor (RPT-S). Aimee specializes in counseling with children and families and incorporates modalities such as sand-tray therapy, play therapy, and art therapy into her work. She has worked in a variety of settings including private practice, community agencies, and provides trainings to counselors in a variety of play therapy modalities. She has been with the CHILL Program since 2001. Aimee enjoys going to the beach, reading, watching college football and spending time with her husband.