Welcome to the MTMS Counselor's Corner
Best of Wishes,
Allie Perrotta, M.Ed
973-543-2505 Ext. 225
- My Philosophy and Approach
- Private High School Application
- Peer Leader Information
- Parent Resources/Social Media Safety
- Parent Resources/Suicide Awareness and Prevention
- Community Support Resources
- Coping Skills Resources
I will utilize the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) National Model to help create and implement a comprehensive school counseling program that will address all students' academic, career, and personal/social needs. Every school is special and unique and I will utilize data systems to assess what interventions are needed to address my specific school's needs and what my specific students and staff's needs are.
Every child is unique. Therefore, I use a variety of counseling theories and techniques specific to the circumstances. I believe it is extremely important to stay up to date on current research and to always evaluate your programming for efficiency. I use a variety of technology to collect and analyze data to inform my practice.
Finally, collaboration is of utmost importance to me. It is my mission to team up with teachers, administrators, families, and community members to create an environment for students to thrive.
If your child plans on applying to a private/alternative high school, please send transcript release forms as soon as possible. In addition, students should ask their selected staff to write their letters of recommendation as soon as possible to allow for ample time to complete and submit them. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me any time.
Thank you for your interest in the Peer Leader program! The Peer Leaders serve as positive role models at MTMS and help lead a variety of programs in the Mendham Township district. The Peer Leader application process occurs in a variety of steps. Students must first review the application rubric with their parents and return a signed permission form. They must then fill out a short answer application. Students will be assigned random numbers on each application in place of names to ensure fairness while scoring. In addition, teachers will be filling out recommendation forms for each student that will yield points. Using this criteria, finalists will be chosen by the selection committee for an interview. The interview will consist of three questions asked by a panel of staff members. Their interview score, combined with their application and teacher recommendation score, will determine the peer leaders for the next academic year. Please note that each year we receive a very high number of applicants and that due to classroom space only 20 students can be chosen to serve as Peer Leaders. It is extremely important to understand not making the Peer Leader program is NOT a reflection of the student's ability to be a leader now or in the future. All students have a lot to offer to the Peer Leader program and every single student should be commended for going through the process. During the application process, students will utilize this webpage to receive updates. Students must remember their randomly assigned numbers as they will be used to post finalists for interviews and to post the final peer leader list. Selection decisions will not be discussed on the phone, however, it is encouraged that if students want to seek feedback that they themselves schedule a time with Ms. Perrotta.
In this day and age of advancing technology and social media, students are online and connected to their cellphones more than ever before. It is a parent/guardian's main goal to keep their child safe which becomes even more difficult when our world is changing around us. Please see below for a variety of resources that are helpful in keeping your children safe online and on their cell phones:
Statistics of Teen Suicide
- More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED.
- Each day in our nation there are an average of over 5,400 attempts by young people grades 7-12
- At least 90% of teens who kill themselves have some type of mental health problem, such as depression, anxiety, drug or alcohol abuse, or a behavior problem.
- There is one death by suicide in the US every 13 minutes.
- Depression affects 20-25% of Americans ages 18+ in a given year.
- Suicide takes the lives of over 38,000 Americans every year.
- Only half of all Americans experiencing an episode of major depression receive treatment.
- 80% -90% of adolescents that seek treatment for depression are treated successfully using therapy and/or medication.
- An estimated quarter million people each year become suicide survivors.
- There is one suicide for every estimated 25 suicide attempts.
- More than 30% of LGBTQ youth report at least one suicide attempt within the last year.
- More than 50% of Transgender youth will have had at least one suicide attempt by their 20th birthday.
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.
- Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
- Talking about being a burden to others.
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
- Sleeping too little or too much.
- Withdrawn or feeling isolated.
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
- Displaying extreme mood swings.
Additional Warning Signs of Suicide
- Preoccupation with death.
- Suddenly happier, calmer.
- Loss of interest in things one cares about.
- Visiting or calling people to say goodbye.
- Making arrangements; setting one's affairs in order.
- Giving things away, such as prized possessions.
- Timing is everything! Pick a time when you have the best chance of getting your child’s attention. Sometimes a car ride, for example, assures you of a captive, attentive audience. Or a suicide that has received media attention can provide the perfect opportunity to bring up the topic.
- Think about what you want to say ahead of time and rehearse a script if necessary. It always helps to have a reference point: (”I was reading in the paper that youth suicide has been increasing…” or “I saw that your school is having a program for teachers on suicide prevention.”)
- Be honest. It this is a hard subject for you to talk about, admit it! (”You know, I never thought this was something I’d be talking with you about, but I think it’s really important”). By acknowledging your discomfort, you give your child permission to acknowledge his/her discomfort too.
- Ask for your child’s response. Be direct! (”What do you think about suicide?”; “Is it something that any of your friends talk about?”, “Have you ever thought about it? What about your friends?”)
- Listen to what your child has to say. You’ve asked the questions, so simply consider your child’s answers. If you hear something that worries you, be honest about that too. “What you’re telling me has really gotten my attention and I need to think about it some more. Let’s talk about this again, okay?”
- Don’t overreact or under react. Overreaction will close off any future communication on the subject. Under reacting, especially in relation to suicide, is often just a way to make ourselves feel better. ANY thoughts or talk of suicide (”I felt that way awhile ago but don’t any more”) should ALWAYS be revisited. Remember that suicide is an attempt to solve a problem that seems impossible to solve in any other way. Ask about the problem that created the suicidal thoughts. This can make it easier to bring up again in the future (”I wanted to ask you again about the situation you were telling me about...”)