Welcome to the 2020 school year.
St Mary’s College is excited to introduce and warmly welcome our new Year 7–12 Counsellor, Jane Sutcliffe, pictured, who will be working on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Jane comes to us with a Bachelor of Psychological Science with Honours and a Master of (Clinical) Psychology, University of Tasmania.
Role of the School Counsellor at SMC
There are many new families to St Mary’s College and we thought it would be a good idea to introduce ourselves and provide you with information about our school counselling service.
Who are the School Counsellors, when are they available and how can a booking be made?
We, the School Counsellors, each work at SMC three-days-a-week. Gai generally supports the Junior School students and Jane generally supports the Senior School students, however we each have clients in both sections of the school. Please add us to your list of people you can turn to when your child needs help. If your child is finding difficulty in coping with any of life’s challenges (it does not have to be a school-based problem), we are available each day of the week. Booking is easy. Please email Gai at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jane at email@example.com or phone Student Services on 6108 2560 to contact us. Your child can also approach us in person or via email, speak with the office staff or talk to their class or Homeroom teacher about an appointment.
What can we help with?
We provide a confidential service where we listen carefully to every concern and work with your child, and sometimes you, to find a good solution, or at least a way to cope with the difficulty.
Parents of Junior School students are always phoned prior to a child engaging in counselling. If we have any concerns about your child’s health or wellbeing we will contact you by phone. We keep information provided in counselling confidential, however, if we believe someone is at risk of being harmed we are required by law to make a report (mandatory reporting).
Chances are that whatever the problem, we have helped someone else with a similar one before. In our training (Gai – Bachelor of Education and Master of Counselling, University of Tasmania; Jane – Bachelor of Psychological Science and Master of Psychology, UTAS) we focused on child and adolescent development, how to listen and respond to children and teens, and how to help them learn to solve problems, build positive relationships, make decisions, cope with stress and be assertive. We are experienced counsellors and can provide options and ideas for a myriad of issues. We are also able to refer students and their families to outside resources. In any given year we see approximately 20 per cent of students in both the Junior and Senior Schools in a one-on-one setting in our capacity as counsellors.
Given that BeYou Australia tells us that at any given time one in five young people are experiencing mental health difficulties of some kind, this is not an unusual statistic.
We also occasionally address classes on topics related to wellbeing and we organise guest speakers and special days such as ‘Bullying. No Way!’ and the Bravehearts presentations. A current major focus is the formation of a wellbeing team to audit all aspects of wellbeing at St Mary’s, collect data from all stakeholders, including families, interpret the results and establish the areas in which we can improve mental health, relationships at school and assistance for students.
Ultimately, we are about helping to make your child’s school experience the best it can be and creating a positive environment for everyone at school.
In each fortnightly edition of The Fountain newsletter you will find an article ‘From the Counsellors’. Over the years, this has developed into a vast resource for parents and carers. All past articles can be found on the SMC website at www.smc.tas.edu.au/your-mind-matters/parent-matters/
Developing leadership skills at home – parenting ideas
The following link outlines some simple things that parents can do to help children’s potential for leadership: www.parentingideas.com.au/blog/developing-leadership-skills-at-home
Podcasts that may interest you – Generation Next
Topics include: Kids, Consumerism & Materialism, Sexting – Why Do Young People Do It and What Are the Consequences?, Supporting Children with Anxiety, Could It Be Asperger’s?, Encouraging Boys to be Respectful and Caring, Conversations We Should be Having with Teens About Mental Health, Gorgeous to Grumpy – Motivating Early Teens and many more. For more information, visit the Generation Next website.
Enjoy the learning while reading and listening. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you or your child would like an appointment.
Gai Bath (Kinder–Year 6) and Jane Sutcliffe (Year 7–12)