PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Several football coaches at William T. Dwyer High School in Palm Beach Gardens do more than coach. They are also behavioral health specialists, identifying students struggling with a variety of issues.
“Every student is different, so there’s no cookie-cutter approach to how you treat any particular student,” junior varsity football coach Keathun Gale said.
Getting through tough times is a priority these days at Dwyer High School, making sure students always know there’s a helping hand with a team based at Dwyer School.
Gale is part of this team as a positive behavior coach.
“The school team, I like to use the Marvel Avengers type metaphor in terms of a number of different resources coming together, basically to serve our students,” Gale said.
With over 2,400 students at Dwyer High School at any one time, students face a variety of challenges. Strategic planning is essential.
“I want to make sure I can intervene with our students who might be struggling,” Gale said. “Whether that difficulty is reaching a parent at home or having a problem with a teacher or another student that needs to be corrected.”
No day is the same at Dwyer High School, and the old adage “It takes a village to raise a child” applies here.
Alex Malsbury is also a coach and crisis advisor on site.
“I feel like it’s one of the most important jobs to have in high school,” Malsbury said. “There is such a demand for mental health now, especially after COVID. I have personally seen a dramatic increase in depression and anxiety.”
The school team of behavioral health experts aims to guide students through difficult times, connecting them to services to support their mental health.