New CASSY therapist hopes to promote wellness for students

March 24, 2021 — by Stephanie Sun and Martin Xu
Albert Xiong

Following the departure of CASSY therapist Aneesa Vaez-Iravani, licensed therapist Albert Xiong officially joined the school’s CASSY team on Feb. 22. 

From a young age, Xiong realized that he had good people skills and later decided that he wanted to make a change in the world and help people. 

“I pursued therapy as a career because I noticed from a pretty young age that I'm a people-person,” Xiong said. “I'm able to forge bonds with new folks pretty well and naturally know how to create a supportive and affirming relationship.”

Xiong first became interested in therapy during an internship in his undergraduate career, where he worked under a psychologist and learned about active listening skills and support. After the internship ended, Xiong pursued a master’s degree in counseling. 

For Xiong, transitioning to this new position in CASSY will be smooth due to his background working in the educational field. Previously, Xiong worked in an identity-based resource center at a university as a graduate student assistant. He helped minority college students obtain resources and navigate higher education.

Xiong then worked for a small agency in the Bay Area, with clients ranging from ages 16 to 65. 

From his knowledge about the multiple factors influencing mental health in high schools, Xiong wanted to pursue working with high school students. 

“High school students are deserving of affirming mental health services to assist them in coping with stress, learning new skills and sharing candidly with a trusted person,” Xiong said. “All students deserve wellness.” 

During his first semester here, Xiong said he hopes to connect with as many students and staff as possible and develop a great relationship with the school. 

“I’m hoping to establish myself as a bright entity on campus and as a familiar face, whether it’s online or in-person,” he said. 

Although Xiong has only recently joined the CASSY team he is already hard at work helping students. 

Xiong said that he wants to encourage everyone to reach out to CASSY or a trusted adult whenever they need help and participate in the movement of ending the stigma around mental illnesses.

“Please don't hesitate to reach out to CASSY and your guidance counselors if you need help,” Xiong said. “Our job is to support your success both inside and outside of the classroom. Don't forget that you are a person outside of your grades.”

 

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