Skip to main content

American Academy

Mental Health

American Academy's Mental Health Team
All Campuses: 
Castle Pines: 
Lincoln Meadows: 

School Counseling

The Role of a Professional School Counselor

Through a comprehensive and developmental school counseling program, our campus school counselors work as a team with students, families, and American Academy staff to address the academic, career and personal/social development of all students.

What does a School Counselor do?

  • Work with ALL students to encourage a safe school climate of trust and respect.
  • Deliver classroom lessons that align to American School Counselor Association standards.
  • Facilitate small groups.
  • Meet individually with students to provide short-term support (not therapy).
  • Help students who are struggling to make positive behavior choices at school.
  • Collaborate with parents/guardians, teachers, support staff, and administration.
  • Provide education and information about students’ social-emotional needs.
  • Maintain confidentiality of students and their families unless there is a need to know or a safety concern.
If you are interested in having your child meet with the campus school counselor or participate in a small group, please visit the School Counseling web pages for information.
School Counselors:
CP-Audrey Miller, Elementary & Brittany Hajec, Middle School
MB: Emily Smith, Elementary & Morgan Gradishar, Middle School
SOS: Signs of Suicide
Last year American Academy implemented the program, SOS: Signs of Suicide and we are again providing this training to our middle school students. This program is designed specifically for students in grades 6-8 and is also the same program that many schools in Douglas County use.
SOS: Signs of Suicide teaches middle school students how to identify the signs of depression and suicide in themselves and their peers.  Through a video, guided discussion, and brief screening for depression, students are encouraged to ACT (Acknowledge, Care, Tell) when worried about themselves or a friend.
Due to the sensitivity of this topic, we are very deliberate in our approach in delivering this program to our students:
  • We have all three campuses’ mental health staff present on the day of implementation to ensure proper delivery of the program and provide extra support to our students.
  • Each student completes a brief depression screener. Students who indicate they need to speak with someone are able to talk individually with a mental health provider.
  • If you would like to review the screener at home, they are available on the SOS website. 
I want to thank you for your support.  The mental health and well-being of our community is incredibly important to us, and we believe we can make a difference if we work together as a team, impacting each and every student at home and in the classroom.  The safety of our students, both physically and emotionally, is always our top priority.
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out myself or your campus’ principal or dean. 

Parent Needs Assessment 2019-2020


As part of American Academy’s goal to place a high level of emphasis on the mental health and emotional well-being of our students, a parent needs assessment was sent to all parents of American Academy students. The results indicate several issues that parents and students are consistently dealing with. Below are the top concerns and the percentage of respondents that faced these challenges: 

  • Anxiety: 30.9%
  • Perfectionism: 25.8%
  • Low Frustration Tolerance: 25.5%
  • Emotional Regulation: 20.8%


Anxiety and perfectionism are very similar in that perfectionism stems from anxiety of not doing or getting something right. Low frustration tolerance is related to emotional regulation as it is a more specific issue within emotional regulation. Below are some resources for parents and teachers for the above areas of need and concern:


1. Anxiety: Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure. People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns. They may avoid certain situations out of worry. They may also have physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, dizziness or a rapid heartbeat.
2. Perfectionism: Perfectionism is driven primarily by internal pressures such as the desire to avoid failure or harsh judgment.
3. Low Frustration Tolerance: Frustration tolerance is the ability to overcome obstacles and withstand stressful events. Low frustration tolerance occurs when a goal-oriented action is delayed or thwarted. The resulting feeling is dissatisfaction from unmet needs or unresolved conflicts.


4. Emotional Regulation: “Emotion regulation” is a term generally used to describe a person’s ability to effectively manage and respond to an emotional experience.


5. Resources in the Community:
6. Miscellaneous Resources: