Higher need for help

Student advocacy specialist helps students manage emotions
Graphic Illustration via Canva by Ashley Nip
Graphic Illustration via Canva by Ashley Nip

Sharlene Patterson is the Student Advocacy Specialist at McIntosh. Students can come to her for advice when dealing with problems such as depression, anxiety, anger and emotional management. 

Patterson’s office is in the media center.

“[Students will] come in here and try to calm down and then I’ll try to give them tools to use to be able to regulate themselves. I’m accessible, I give people my cell phone so that when they are escalated, they could call me or text me and I could try to calm them down then,” Patterson said.

I have a lot of students here at McIntosh that need me.”

— Sharlene Patterson

Patterson wants to show people that it is ok to be anxious or stressed and that it could help some students in a way. 

“So one thing I would advise is keep up with your work. Kids who are stressed or anxious, it shows you have to be uncomfortable to be moved out of that, right. How can I learn this as a life skill? And so, I advise kids, sometimes we can write it out or give them tools to breathe, giving them tools to keep up with work, it depends on what’s causing that stress and anxiety,” Patterson Said.

There are many problems such as family, self image issues, expectations and school.

“Some say “My parents expect me to go to college and maybe I don’t want to go to college. How do I tell my parents that kind of thing,’” Patterson said.

I’ll try to give them tools to use to be able to regulate themselves.”

— Sharlene Patterson

Since Patterson serves nine different schools around Fayette County, she can only be on the McIntosh campus for a certain amount of time.  

“I am here all day on Mondays. And so the rest of the week I’m in other schools, unless someone here texts or emails or calls me. Some of the rest of the week I am here because I have a lot of students here at McIntosh that need me,” Patterson said.

Patterson also helps people outside of school hours.

“Students [will] call me late at night if they’re anxious or lonely or just need someone to talk to. So it’s late at night, on the weekends. Sometimes they don’t feel safe in their homes and so I will call the police for them and just kind of get the right help for them,” Patterson said.

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About the Contributor
Ashley Nip
Ashley Nip, Staff
Ashley Nip is new to journalism this year. She has been living in Peachtree City her whole life but she wants to travel more. So far, she has been to North Carolina, Minnesota and Chicago. She made the honor roll in 7th grade. She currently works at Chin Chin. Nip has plans to play volleyball. Nip also has an addiction to shopping and skincare.
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