Ardenne's health and wellness centre to assist with remedial behaviour
From left: Ardenne High School Deputy Head Girl Aliyah Hall, Head Girl Ana Laura Roman Rodriguez, Deputy Head Boy Shaan-Paul Morrison, Head boy Liam Meade, Student Council President Marlon Mattison engage in a discussion with director of the Ardenne Alumni Foundation Vilma McDonald after the ground-breaking ceremony for the health and wellness centre at Ardenne High School on Wednesday.

CONCERNED about the increasing mental health challenges faced by students, Ardenne High School in Kingston will be constructing a health and wellness centre to improve pupils' well-being.

The project, which is being built with the assistance of the Ardenne Alumni Foundation, is expected to cost approximately $60 million.

It will include other components such as a reception and waiting area, three offices for guidance counsellors, two counselling rooms, nurse's station, student lounge, students and staff sick bays and associated wash rooms, and a multipurpose roof terrace.

Principal of Ardenne High School Nadine Molloy told the Jamaica Observer that the facility will provide the well-needed privacy for staff and students to engage in mental health activities such as counselling.

Architect for the Ardenne High School Health and Wellness Centre project Anthony Thomas shows the artist impression for the building during the ground-breaking ceremony on Wednesday.

"I know that will be a plus, with the kind of ambience we plan to create here. We want the persons operating out of this space to be aware of the latest developments, trends, applications we can use in terms of helping people to be well — whether it is physically or mentally," said Molloy following the ground-breaking ceremony for the centre on Wednesday.

"In this world we operate in now, mental health has become even more important. We are more aware and we are more focused on it, and so this space will definitely give us an opportunity to provide that service in an optimal way. I am so grateful to all the persons who are contributing to this — the students, all categories of staff," she added.

Chair of the Ardenne Alumni Foundation Flo Darby said the project is expected to be completed within a year.

"It is going to be extremely important because already we are seeing where people including teachers — the whole community — [are] suffering after what happened with COVID-19. It affected people mentally," said Darby.

She explained that the health and wellness centre will offer additional help in improving students' behaviour.

"For a long time we have tried to help our students who run into trouble. Rather than expel them, we want to help to be reformed. Based on who we have as guidance counsellors and so on is just not enough for us to cater to the needs of those who have issues and need help. It has been a long time coming," she added.

In a release, the school said it has a sick bay with limited space that accommodates its over-2000 student population. It also mentioned that while there has been an increase in the guidance department to three makeshift offices at the back of the school's auditorium, the space is still inadequate and lacks privacy for guidance counsellors to conduct their duties.

Brittny Hutchinson

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy