How does your school deal with mental health issues?
The reality for schools today is that even when they have really good interventions and systems in place for dealing with inappropriate behaviour, teacher’s still flag up children that have cause for mental health concerns which manifest as social, emotional and/or behavioural concerns and require specialist support services.
Schools are sometimes at the mercy of long waiting lists for CAMHS (Child and Adult Mental Health Services) and Education Psychologists and a lot of teacher and learning support assistant time is spent calming distressed children. Not a day goes by when media attention highlights the mental health concerns from how it affects children’s ability to access to the curriculum, how classrooms are trashed and to severe measures where there is physical violence due to either being at risk or having a mental health concerns.
Even though counselling is not statutory at present, the recent Government Blueprint (LINK ATTACHED) has highlighted that counselling should be provided for all children. PSHE (Personal Social Health Education) is no longer a statutory requirement and the new SEN code of practice have included a mental health element which means that teachers will be expected to notice signs and symptoms of mental health concerns and deal with the low-level symptoms – something they are not trained to do.
How I can help
Evidence shows that a counselling service which provides support within an overall school strategy can be highly effective in promoting adult and young people’s welfare, supporting their learning and achievement as well as alleviating and preventing the escalation of mental health problems.
School-based Counselling can help pupils and adults to develop skills which make personal transitions more manageable. Counsellors who are part of a whole school approach to emotional health and well-being are in a unique position to recognise early on children who are at risk, in need, vulnerable or for whom there are potential serious mental health risks at an early age.
The benefits to the school are:
- improved attitudes and behaviour in school
- fewer exclusions
- improved school attendance
- improved academic outcomes
- reduced teacher time spent on dealing with issues therefore a reduction in cost.
What I offer
I am an integrative psychotherapist which means that I can use a variety of methods, tools and techniques – from therapeutic play to talking therapy to support children depending on their age and ability. I work in a solution-focussed way so therapy can be time-limited i.e. brief (one academic term), mid-term or longer term depending on the circumstances of the case.
- I offer Individual therapy for children aged 5-16. This would involve initial meeting(s) with SENCO to discuss the case, meeting with parents (as appropriate), working up to 8 sessions with child, then review meeting. If work is extended then this will involve another 8 sessions and another review meeting with parents.
1. My therapy sessions last 50 minutes and 10 minutes to write up notes
2. Meetings and Review meetings are additional to the 8 sessions.
- I offer consultation/coaching/supervision with individual teachers.
- I can deliver mental health related INSET or workshops for staff.
- I offer adult psychotherapy for parents and/or teachers.
Please contact me for my rates as I can tailor packages to meet your needs.
I understand these issues very well. I understand the issues faced by teachers because I was a qualified teacher from 1997, and worked as an outreach behaviour consultant for New Rush School from 2006 – 2012. I gained the ‘Chartered London Teacher’ status in September 2011 (in which DEFS recognises and rewards commitment in transforming education in London by working to raise the achievements of all pupils and by challenging educational underachievement and disadvantage). I began my psychotherapy training in parallel to working at New Rush Hall school and now work as a part-time school counsellor within a primary school in Redbridge so I am not new to the challenges in a school environment.
- UKCP accredited – Advanced Diploma in Contemporary Psychotherapy
- Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Trainer
- Chartered London Teacher (equivalent to Advanced Skills Teacher)
- BA (Hons) Education QTS – Qualified teacher with First Class Honours
- Louise L Hay Practitioner (to deliver transformational workshops)
- I am DBS cleared and fully insured.
- Have completed minimum 450 child and adult psychotherapy hours with clinical supervision at Haven (working with adult victims of sexual abuse, domestic violence), NHS (working with adult clients with anxiety, depression and related disorders and complex diagnoses) and Place2be (delivering therapeutic play for primary aged children). I have also worked privately with teenagers
- Have been teaching since 1997 – 2012. Last 6 years (2006-2012) with New Rush Hall School as an outreach behaviour consultant working therapeutically with children with BESD issues.
- School counselling since 2012 – current.
Please contact me to discuss how I can help you and your school.