Support from College Psychologists

The College Psychologists would like to support our community as much as possible and plan to update general information and resources which may be useful on the website and to the students through Teams. While students are learning at home, College Psychologists will continue to be available to consult with Assistant Deputy Principals (ADP) regarding any mental health and wellbeing concerns for students. Students and parents should contact their ADP to discuss concerns they have about students’ wellbeing.

 

It is expected that some direct, online counselling will be possible for students via the College Psychologists while the students are engaging in remote learning. We do, however, recommend that if ongoing counselling is required, families use community mental health services and resources which can be accessed 24/7. At this time, referrals to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) and private Clinical Psychologists can still be accessed via GPs.

 

  • If anyone is uncertain whether or not mental health support is needed and, if so, what kind of help - the Department of Health resource Head to Health is a great place to start. This website has a wealth of information and links for a full range of supports suitable for children, young people and adults and may make it easy for anyone to find the most appropriate support for their situation.
  • For anyone who may wish to speak to someone urgently, Mental Health Emergency Response Line, Lifeline and Kids Helpline are available for crisis support at all times.
  • For any online issues e.g. dealing with or reporting bullying, harassment or inappropriate behaviours, the eSafetyCommissioner website is very useful.
  • If you know of anyone experiencing harassment or abuse within relationships, 1800 RESPECT provides access to 24/7 information and confidential counselling.


Staying Psychologically Well

Everyone finds change and uncertainty stressful. What helps is to have clear information we can trust and to feel that we still have a sense of control and familiarity in our lives. While the situation is constantly changing at the moment, there are certain things everyone can do to help themselves and the people around them stay psychologically well.

 

  • Getting clear, trustworthy information: The College will endeavour to update our COVID-19 webpage regarding developments on how the College will be functioning. Students and families can access a friendly, clear, four minute video of what the COVID-19 virus is HERE. Any young person who feels anxious specifically about the COVID-19 developments can access support and information from HeadSpace.
  • Maintain familiarity: Wherever possible, maintain familiar routines – still eat, exercise, go to bed and get up at regular times. Engage in the activities (where possible) that you enjoy.
  • Maintain contact with others: PHYSICAL distancing – not social distancing. While the way we do it may need to change (more online and less face-to-face), keeping contact with those we care about is really important.
  • Monitor your wellbeing: If being online too much leads to feelings of anxiety, being overwhelmed, or distress, review what you are doing online and why.
  • Talk to people: We all need at least one trusted person with whom we can speak honestly and openly with to share worries, feelings, fears, hopes and dreams. If anyone does not have access to people in their immediate family or friendship groups who they feel it would be appropriate to share with, the established mental health providers online will continue to be available for information and support. Please see attached sheet developed by Youth Focus on the range of services – from crisis support to useful apps which can be accessed. Noone needs to feel that they are ever alone – even in the middle of the night.
  • Focus on what you CAN do: While this is definitely a very challenging time, it is important to consider the opportunities and potential it gives us all to look at life differently, re-evaluate what is important and to use any freed up time to pursue things we normally would not have had the time or opportunity to do.

You can find contact details for Counselling Services HERE.

 

FURTHER USEFUL RESOURCES

It is more important than ever for everyone to ensure they are looking after their mental health (as well as their physical heath) as much as they can. There are a number of really great, evidence-based resources around which can help. If you have not already seen these, the following are definitely worth a look:

 

  • Coping with worries and fears: When we have a really difficult challenge to face, our mind can try to protect us from future harm by imagining all the possible things that can go wrong. In some situations this is really helpful, but clearly not always, as we can get caught up in all of these “what if...?” scenarios. 'FACE COVID' written by Russ Harris is a helpful resource with some great advice. THIS short video accompanies the article.
  • This Way Up: This organisation is offering online information and courses on how to look after your mental health for FREE during the current COVID-19 challenges.
  • Parenting Teens Advice from ReachOut.com: Sometimes, we cannot run away from our thoughts and feelings, distract ourselves or “think positive”. Instead, while doing our best in an unfamiliar, challenging situation, it’s important to acknowledge that this is hard, but not lose sight of what we value and what gives our own particular life meaning and do something that takes us in the right direction.