The College Charter has themes of education as being a liberating force in raising awareness of self and others in the world. Other themes include the theme of being an inclusive community, spirituality as fostering compassion, justice and peace and standing together in solidarity on issues that are committed to the universal good of our planet. The College Counsellors are also committed to the values in the Charter and consider the social, cultural, environmental, emotional, physical and psychological aspects of each individual student in the development of their sense of self, resilience, and sense of self-control.
How To Access the Counsellors
Students are able to make an appointment with a Counsellor directly, or by one of the referrals which are located on either of the Counsellor’s doors, Students are also able to self-refer by emailing the Counsellors indicating when they are available for an appointment. Counsellors’ emails are read mainly within the school term. During holiday periods, if students need to access the Counsellors, emails may be sent to the website’s bully box which are read within 48 hours by Mr Paul English, Pastoral Care Co-ordinator. Mr English will endeavour to discuss the request with the Counsellors. Of course, in holidays or after hours, should an urgent situation arise a phone call should be made to the Mental Health Line, 1800 011 511 which is a 24 hour crisis line. Other ways to access the Counsellors include speaking with Year Co-ordinators, or the Pastoral Care Co-ordinator, who will liaise with the Counsellors. Additionally, parents/caregivers can phone the Counsellors directly to refer their child if they have concerns or, alternatively, they can phone the Pastoral Care Co-ordinator or Year Co-ordinators.
Why Talk to a Counsellor
Everyone faces challenges, predicaments and worries throughout their lives and may feel the need to express their concerns in a private and non-judgemental environment in which they feel empowered, validated and respected. Sometimes a student may only feel that one or two sessions is enough to address an issue and sometimes it may be longer. Both the St Edward’s College Counsellors have vast knowledge and experience with a number of therapies, strategies and counselling practices that deal with a wide range of issues faced by secondary students and their families/caregivers. Counselling is seen as an integral part of school life and every student has the opportunity to access counselling and support when needed, whether short or long term.
When to Talk to a Counsellor
It is a good idea to have a chat with a Counsellor when you know you are not functioning like you usually do. That is, when you feel overwhelmed that things are piling up on top of you and you start to:
- Want to stay in bed all day/don’t want to go out of your bedroom
- Have disruptive sleep patterns…wake up for no reason for hours during the night
- Can’t get to sleep
- Isolate from friends
- Lose your appetite
- Feeling like having a shower is just so hard
- Fun seems like a remote idea
- Generally feel low/depressed
Is Counselling Private and Confidential
The sessions between a Counsellor and a student is private and confidential. The only information that must be passed on, according to the Law, is information about a student who has been harmed or who expresses an intention to harm himself or someone else. If it is OK with the student to let his teachers know of his present circumstances, the Counsellors may act as Advocates for the student and work closely with teachers to support the student.
Some of the common issues dealt with in counselling include:
- Mental Health concerns: e.g. anxiety, depression
- Friendship/relationship stresses and/or skill building
- Family illness/disruption/relationship stress
- Grief and Loss
- Adjustment to High School
- Bullying – restorative justice sessions/working with the Year Co-ordinator
- Anger – constructive vs destructive
- Trauma counselling
- Life coaching for older students