Counseling center welcomes Katya Ostor


George Chang

Upper School wellness counselor Katya Ostor joined Masters this year. She is currently filling the position of Stefanie Carbone, who is on sabbatical leave. Ostor is excited to meet students and start conversations regarding mental health.

Carolyn Hohl, Contributing Writer

Katya Ostor, the new Upper School Wellness counselor, believes that acceptance and awareness are the keys to approaching mental health issues. As a mental health advocate, Ostor takes a holistic approach. “If you aren’t taking care of yourself physically, you can’t take care of yourself mentally,” she said. According to Ostor, due to the day-day stresses of school work and social pressure, students often neglect their mental and physical well-being. 

Ostor is currently filling in for Stefanie Carbone as she takes her one year sabbatical leave. Ostor began her career in social work almost 15 years ago in hospitals in Rhode Island and New York.

During this time, she worked in pediatric psychiatry. “I only saw kids in there for a very brief time and at a very hard time,” she said.

At that time in Ostor’s career, there were no follow-ups to the appointments she had with the young people she was working with, which left her feeling separated from the patients in her care. “[I] would just see them in that last moment in the hospital when it had gotten to the point where it wasn’t [the patient’s] choice anymore to get help,” Ostor said.

Because of this, Ostor decided to focus her efforts into helping students in school systems. Ostor said her main goal is to make connections with students and to create a space where an open and ongoing conversation towards bettering mental health emerges. She sees her time at Masters as an opportunity to make meaningful connections with students and to promote useful dialogue around mental health education.

Nayoung Ko, one of the co-presidents of SADD, Students Against Destructive Decisions, said that she appreciates how dedicated Ostor is to the club as well as to helping people on campus. Ko emphasized, “She really supports our ideas, and she wants to make sure that we are successful.”

Lila Patterson, one of SADD’s supporting officers noted how Ostor is working to change the way SADD is perceived on campus. “We aren’t just the goody-two-shoes type of students that are running a club to tell people not to drink. With Ms. Ostor’s help, we are gaining expertise beyond the ‘Masters bubble’.”

Ostor believes that because of the current political and social climate, mental health has come to the forefront of people’s conversations. “It makes people think ‘Wow, why aren’t we paying more attention to mental health issues?’ So I think that as time goes on, it will just be more of a norm,” she said.

Ostor encourages students to visit the Health Center. “We are always here for students, if you want to just stop by and say ‘Hey’ or if you want to learn more skills if you are having a lot of stress. Anytime, just pop in and if we are free we will meet with you,” Ostor said.

The Counseling Center is available for use by all members of the Masters community. It operates throughout the school day and is open to anyone who is concerned about their own mental health or that of anyone else.