Counseling Services

Here for our students, each and every day

At Western Reserve Academy, nothing could be more important than our students' health and wellness. Today's youth are grappling with major psychological stressors, from social media to the pandemic, in addition to the already formidable job of just being a teenager. We know that mental health issues have become increasingly common, with recent studies indicating that approximately one in five teens between the ages of 12 and 18 suffer from at least one diagnosable mental health disorder. These challenges often escalate in college.

“The complicated state of the world makes achieving balance and peace so hard for teenagers — really, for everyone. For our students and community, our aspiration is joy. Many pieces must be in place, including best-in-class psychological services and unwavering support. When we created the cornerstones of our Strategic Plan, student health and safety came first.”

- Head of School Suzanne Walker Buck

Enter the CAPS team. Located in the same building as our Head of School's office, the CAPS Office occupies a suite on the first floor of Morgan Hall, which includes three separate offices for our School Psychologist Dr. David Chiarella and two full-time counselors Becky Susany and Kristen Olander; a room for psychological testing, a conference room and waiting room.

Our counselors are licensed mental health professionals who are there to help students with a variety of issues and concerns including homesickness, depression, anxiety, relationship/family issues, stress management, substance use and eating issues. Short-term outpatient treatment is provided at no cost. School counselors also coordinate with health providers and academic support services, consult with deans and faculty members and contribute to the emotional health and well-being of the school as a whole. There is even comprehensive psychological testing available at no cost to the student's family, to determine if there are any specific learning issues, executive functioning problems or other issues that could interfere with focus and productivity.

What's more, the CAPS team works hard to make sure access is as easy as possible. They are available for scheduled, walk-in and crisis appointments when school is in session. Students, parents, and faculty can email the counselors any time at counseling@wra.net

Meet our Office

David Chiarella

David Chiarella

Director of Counseling & Psychological Services
Office of Counseling and Psychological Services
Kristen Olander

Kristen Olander

Counseling Associate
Office of Counseling and Psychological Services
Lisa Sims

Lisa Sims

Health Services, Office of Counseling and Psychological Services
Becky Susany

Becky Susany

Counselor
Office of Counseling and Psychological Services

Every one of our students has a success story to tell. We can't wait to tell yours.

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