About school counsellors
advice; school; chaplain; worries; help; trusted; adult; problems; bullying; confidential; chat; privacy; talking; feelings; counsellor; counselor; psychologist;
What is a school counsellor?
We often say 'talk to a trusted adult', and put school counsellor on the list, but what is a school counsellor?
- Many primary schools now have school counsellors in the school for at least part of the week.
- A school counsellor is a person who has been trained to help kids with their problems. He or she may also be a teacher.
- Counsellors may work with one kid at a time.
- They may have a special room in the school where you can go and see them at any time, or you may have to make a time to go and see them.
- You do not need your parents', caregivers' or teachers' permission to see them, but you need to let your teacher know that you will be out of the class for a time.
- Some schools do not have a school counsellor, but many schools now have a Christian Pastoral Support Worker (CPS) who may run program about a lot of things in the school. This person is trained to help kids with problems and can be a trusted adult. Christian Pastoral Support Workers in South Australia used to be called chaplains.
- Sometimes one or more of the teachers in the school may also be a counsellor.
they can help as a trusted adult
Counsellors can help in many different ways. They can't fix everything, but they can help you to cope with things that are worrying you.
- They listen to you if you are worried about something or have a problem with other kids or at home.
- They help you to decide what you might do.
- They can organise for you to get special help.
- They can help you sort out problems that you may be having with other kids.
- They can help you sort out problems with the teacher.
- They can help you get on track with your learning.
- They can teach you problem solving skills.
- They can help you and your family sort out problems you may have.
- They can help you cope if something sad is happening in your life.
- They can help to keep you safe.
Each school may have different ways of organising for kids to see the counsellor.
If you have a problem and want to talk about it, then you may:
- Ask your teacher how to see a counsellor.
- Look at your school website to see how to make an appointment to see a counsellor.
- Talk to a parent or carer about seeing a counsellor, and they can ask the school to set it up.
- Leave a note in the counsellor's pigeon hole asking for a meeting.
- Go and knock on the counsellor's door.
- Ask at reception or the front office about how to go about seeing the counsellor.
will know that I am seeing the counsellor?
If you want to see the counsellor by yourself because it is something you want to keep private, then no-one except you and the counsellor need to know. If other kids ask, you can say that you have an appointment but you are not in trouble. They don't need to know any more than that.
- Sometimes counsellors will have a private meeting with just you.
- Sometimes counsellors may run special groups where there will be a few kids who are having the same problem or worry, eg. if you have all had a death in the family or you are all having problems with bullying. But you can still see the counsellor by yourself if you want to.
- Sometimes they may have a meeting with you and your teacher or one or both of your parents or caregivers.
- Counsellors may work with your teacher in the classroom running special programmes like problem solving, setting goals, what to do about bullying, etc.
- If you are not too sure about what is the problem, then talking to the counsellor will help you to sort things out in your mind. Having someone who really listens to you can really help.
"Our CPS worker helped me when my mum was very sick. I was really scared but it was OK to talk and OK to cry and that made me feel better."
"Our school counsellor helped me to organise my work better and I'm going better now."
"I was being bullied by some kids, our counsellor helped me to change and they don't bully me any more. They know that I won't put up with it."
"Our CPS worker helps in our classroom. Sometimes she helps teach all the class and sometimes she is there for someone who needs support for a while" Jay
Counsellors are there to help you. They will not go round telling everyone what you were talking about. Everything you say will be confidential (con-fi-den-shul).
There may be times when they will need to talk to someone else. Legally counsellors need to report if they think you have been abused. But this will only be if they think that you or someone else may be in danger or could be at risk of being harmed. Then they will tell only the people who need to know so they can help you be safe.
If you are at home and need help and you can't talk to your trusted adults then you can ring the Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 if you live in Australia. Or if you are 12 or over you and live in South Australia you can call the Youth Healthline 1300 13 17 19.
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We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.