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Sharing Strategies

By Colorado School Counselors | January 2022

Airplane Mask Protocol

By Elizabeth Meier Thornton

While burnout is a major issue for educators and school counselors around the nation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the rising tides of mental health issues continue to challenge school counselor mental well-being and job enjoyment. Rather than burning out from the overwhelming tasks added to their already busy jobs, school counselors are encouraged to follow the “airplane mask protocol,” of putting their oxygen masks on first before helping others. Protective and preventive factors against burnout for school counselors are included to help school counselors tap into multiple resources to support them as they continue to keep breathing through the ongoing crisis of COVID-19 and the ensuing mental health crisis.
Read the complete “Airplane Mask Protocol” article

Contact Elizabeth Meier Thornton, a CSCA emerging leader, a middle school counselor at Peak to Peak Charter School and an adjunct professor at Denver University and Denver Seminary, at .

Proactive Collaboration: Leaning on Those Around You

By Stephani Mijo

Perhaps the most overlooked wellness tool is collaboration. In times of stress, having a community around you can be one of the most effective means of self care. Read about some ways that you can build community in your building.
Read the complete “Proactive Collaboration” article
Stephanie Mijo is a CSCA emerging leader and a college and career counselor at Discovery Canyon Campus High School.

Self-Care for School Counselors: Evidence-Based Strategies

By Tara M. Gray

This article presents evidence-based strategies for school counselor self-care to manage stress and decrease compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, and distress and burnout. While compassion fatigue, burnout and stress are normal and common in the mental health professions, symptoms of stress vary with each individual. Tara M. Gray guides us through some of the practices school counselors can adopt to reduce the likelihood of these challenges school counselors face.
Read the complete “Self-Care for School Counselors”
Tara M. Gray, Ph.D., LPC, LMHC, LPSC, ACS, RPT-S, RPT is a licensed professional school counselor in Telluride, Colorado. She is also an associate faculty member in the MEd in School Counseling program at Prescott College and vice president of elementary school counseling on the Colorado School Counselor Association Governing Board.