PRINCETON, WV (WVNS)–School counselors are needed to help students with their mental health and prepare them for the real world.

The first week of February is designated as National Counselors’ Week. It is to recognize all the good work school counselors do for students at local schools.

Angel Elswick, a counselor for two schools at Mercer County Public Schools said she went into nursing before deciding to focus her work on counseling.

“I started out in high school and I love that part of it but when you get to the elementary schools counseling, you can stop a lot of the problems before they happen,” Elswick said.

Melissa Marshall was a teacher first before she also went into counseling.

She said she wanted to help those in the schools.

“Even as a teacher, I thought we needed more counselors in the county to help service the students that need it and that’s one of the reasons I got it to begin with just to be a helper in the school system,” Marshall said.

Marshall added if someone is interested in becoming a counselor, be ready for the hard work but know someone will always be there if times get too rough.

“It takes a village for us to help each other because we have transient students who might be my school one day and might be at Bramwell the next day and we communicate so well together as a county to make this a successful program,” Marshall said.