Society is becoming increasingly aware of the rise in mental health pressures facing young people today. These pressures can affect many areas of a young person’s life and contribute to a range of issues affecting their general well-being. Anxiety, self-harm, lack of self-esteem and an inability to maximise their potential are important issues which can be difficult for schools to address, particularly in the light of recent financial constraints. Yet there continue to be calls from Government Ministers1, MPs2, parents3 and mental health specialists4, to provide support for these complex needs.
While the announcement of plans to provide training for teachers to “spot the signs of mental health” is welcome, the obvious question to be asked is “What do they do if and when they spot it?” Not every school has the resources to employ a full-time counsellor.
One option to balance the mental health needs of your students and financial costs is to bring in a counsellor on an “as-need” basis, although this relies on the availability and suitability of the therapist. Perhaps a more optimal solution would be to use a part-time in-house counselling service, as that could prove more flexible to the ongoing needs of the student body, as well as being more cost-effective for the school or college.
• A bespoke package suited to your needs –
either counselling a single student on a weekly basis,
or a day where multiple sessions can be held,
or a combination of both
• Over seven years’ experience counselling in a secondary school setting,
thus bringing in-depth awareness of the practical and academic needs of the school, as well as familiarity with standard educational data systems
(e.g. SIMS, MyConcern)
• A clear understanding of the dual need for safeguarding & confidentiality,
the boundaries to both, and how to manage the inevitable conflicts that can arise
• Responsibility for keeping and maintaining confidential notes,
recording and reporting both therapeutic and pastoral progress records
• Knowledge of when to liaise with pastoral and other staff,
as well as advising when to refer to external agencies
(e.g. CAMHS, Educational Psychology services, drug advisory agencies etc.)
• An ability to empathically relate to young people, the pressures they face
in the modern world, and the mental health issues that can arise as a result,
such as: Anxiety, Low Self-Esteem, Stress and Depression, Suicidal Thoughts,
Bereavement and Loss, Social/Peer Issues, Domestic Violence, etcetera.
For more information, please contact me via email or telephone
to arrange a no-obligation meeting at your convenience,
and to find out how Heads Up Counselling can help your organisation.
—Richard Coleman, MBACP