Mental Health Literacy Training

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This week I was extremely fortunate to be Certified as a Trainer for the Mental Health Literacy Program facilitated by renowned psychiatrist Dr. Stan Kutcher

I was excited to be able to participate, as I have known about Dr. Kutcher’s work for a while. I am happy to say all four days were absolutely worth it. I left feeling I had learned many things that will assist me in my professional work and as a result impact the lives of the students we serve in our school community. I also loved his dry wit which absolutely kept me engaged during the process.

The training has fabulous resources for school counsellors, educators and mental health workers to utilize. This program is one of the best I have seen in a long time. It is rich in content, research, and resources.

When it comes to mental health we want students to:

CONNECT

  • With someone they trust like their teacher advisor , teacher, coach or other significant adult in the school who can then assist them in connecting …

CONNECTING

  • With their school counsellor who can assist them in connecting with their doctor, health care provider and or parents to assist them with their mental health concerns

One of important things that  Dr. Stan Kutcher discussed during the four days is the difference between:

  • Mental Health Distress (one example lose your keys)
  • Mental Health Problem (one example a parent dies)
  • Mental Health Disorder/Illness (one example clinical depression)

Too often we do not normalize what young people are feeling. It is normal to feel sad after a break up, but that does not mean the student is in a clinical depression. We need to teach our young people the difference between distress, problem and disorder and the Mental Health Curriculum Guide  does just that. It teaches students and educators the Mental Health Literacy that they need in today’s world based on present day research on the brain.

If you want to learn more you can take a quiz here to get you started…

Below I will share a few of the fantastic resources available. You may want to book a training in your area if you do contact @TMentalHealth

Digital storytelling:

Panic Disorder:

Coping with suicidal thoughts:

http://teenmentalhealth.org/resources/entries/coping-with-suicidal-thoughts/

Depression:

I really hope educators from around the globe will consider this fantastic program as part of any initiative that will benefit every student and family in their school and community.

Plan for Making a Difference Online

Making A Difference Online

Digital Citizenship

1:10-2:00 p.m.

             

 

Susan TOPIC Digital citizenship 15 minutes

  • Haiku Deck  ]http://www.haikudeck.com/p/seBRTsh6wd/digital-citizenship-bchs
  • Be a Digital Citizen (2mins. 13 seconds)

http://youtu.be/FdEXijFXfD8

  • Digital Dossier Video:4 minutes 23 seconds

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79IYZVYIVLA&feature=share&list=PLvzOwE5lWqhRhUa0Zet5__9yfLX8NRvb3

Marc Global Citizenship

  • Global Digital Citizenship

Tremendous Growth of Easily Accessible Information

  • 1993 vs 2013

So much information, but…

  • Benefits vs problems

Tremendous Growth of Ability to Connect and Communicate

  • 1993 vs 2013

Ease of communication, but…

  • Benefits vs problems
  • In 2013, we have tremendous ability to access information and communicate with others…
  • In 2013 we have tremendous power to engage, connect, and advocate.
  • So what?

What is this ability for?

…or can we aspire to something greater?

Remember this?

Can we do better?

  • Syria – Civil War
  • Toronto – Street Car Shooting
  • KONY 2012

Peter Making Positive Connections

  • Remind 101

You can use social media to Make the World A Better Place

THINK before you post how are you going to do this?

 

What we want students to know:

  • Being online can make a positive difference in your life. Students throughout the world are doing great things online.
  • Act on and off line as if the world is watching because they are.
  • Learn all you can about being a good digital citizen. Google digital citizenship
  • Act with integrity on and off line
  • Be aware of your digital identity google yourself
  • Research creative commons and be able to explain it to a younger student.
  • You can build a positive reputation on line
  • You can be a positive creator
  • Your reputation is created by YOU

Digital Citizenship has a place in every school and we need to focus on the positive aspects of the internet as well as the things that concern us.

We want students to ask themselves:

  • What are the creative opportunities on the web?
  • What are the ethical dilemmas?
  • What are the rewards and the risks of being on line?

It is important to find great examples on the internet of students doing things to not only improve their own opportunities, but to improve the lives of those in their school, communities, and around the world. We would like to encourage students to look for these great examples as well.

I’d like to see schools focus on those students who Make A Difference Online by providing them with a scholarship that recognizes all the good they do online. Anyone interested in providing one?

Here is a great example of students doing amazing things:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qo2S1fdhGmo&list=UULSeLxP1JlUEmz_FKNZsXVQ&index=1&safety_mode=true&persist_safety_mode=1&safe=active

As educators we need to create our own digital footprint and model good Digital Citizenship for our students. Taking Care Of Your Digital Self highlights the importance of a positive digital presence.

When teaching Digital Citizenship we need students to recognize that they need to be the same person ON and OFF line.

We need to ask students:

  • If I were to look you up online what would I find?
  • What would you want others to find?
  • If your grandmother googled you would she be proud of what she found?
  • What is your digital tattoo? Find out more information at http://digitaltattoo.ubc.ca/

We want students at Bishop Carroll to show great citizenship skills:

  • Positive attitude
  • Proactive
  • Connected
  • Engaged Thinkers
  • Ethical Citizens
  • Entrepreneurial Spirited
  • Sharing,  and creation of new knowledge and learning to help others.

 

Here is an activity students can do.: Choose what happens next … a you tube video that is interactive

http://youtu.be/pGkaw44-Ql4

Digital citizenship is so important and what we do with students matters.

 

Lessons for a New School Counsellor … an ongoing dialogue for this school year

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This year I will be supervising another first year school counsellor, the difference being this time I want to blog about it so that I can help him as well as learn new things myself. I also hope this will help other new school counsellors in the process.

I absolutely love being a school counsellor. It is a career that I have never regretted choosing. I registered as a psychologist in 2007, and tested out private practice part time. The decision to do this helped me realize just how much I love being in a school helping students and connecting with educators. The work of a school counsellor fulfills me and makes me very happy. I love going to work every day. It is extremely rewarding because I know I can make a huge difference in the life of students and their families.  I believe as school counsellors we can change the path that a student’s life will take to a more positive one.

I know that school counsellors can save lives by what they do . They can be the first person to assess that a serious concern exists and connect the family with resources that can change the lives of the student and their family for the better.

When a student walks into my office the first question I often ask is “ how can I help you today” ? I always want to be helpful. I believe that if we are not being helpful then we are not meeting the needs of our students. At the end of the session I usually ask what did we discuss today that will be helpful to you and what will you use as a result of our spending time together today.

As a school counsellor I want to be able to replace despair with hope and sadness with joy not unlike the words in the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi.

I want the school counselling office to be a safe place for students to explore what isn’t working and find out how they can make things work in their lives. I like to focus on the strengths of the student. Often times students have told me they would not go to or do not like going to see counsellors. They say to me that being in my office is different ; meaning somehow I am different and that I don’t seem like the perception of what they think a “counsellor” is.

Now don’t get me wrong I have had students who did not like me. It is part of what happens as a school counsellor, teacher , educator or anyone in any profession and if that happens hopefully they will connect with the person who will be most helpful to them.

What do I believe are the important lessons a new school counsellor should know? These lessons will not be in order of importance, but are all lessons I feel are worthwhile being aware of. As the school year progresses I will continually add to this list.

Lesson #1: We can’t help everyone, but we can sure try to help the ones that come to us or are referred to us ( and sometimes we need to go to them).

Students will often disclose very serious issues that we as school counsellors need to address. Sometimes when we disclose to parents that their son or daughter is thinking of suicide or some other life threatening concern (the end result might be the student may never return to see you). Hopefully you have connected the student and their family to resources that can improve and indeed in some cases save their lives.

It is important for new school counsellors to not get discouraged if a student does not return to see you (don’t personalize it) it may just be that you have helped them a great deal, but are unaware of just how at that time. Students have stopped me in stores and other places years later to let me know what a difference I made. So hang in there knowing that you did what you needed to do. It is also important to be self aware, so also run by your concerns with another counsellor and see if indeed there was something else you could have done or ask what if anything could you have done differently. Remind yourself that you are in a process of learning. Consult… consult… consult… a lifelong lesson for ALL school counsellors.

It is also OK to recognize that you are NOT a match for every student. Hopefully there are other counsellors in your school or outside agencies that you can refer your student to if this happens. I let students know that they have a choice when it comes to counsellors and they need to see the person they feel most comfortable and safe with. Hopefully, that will be you ,but if not that is OK too.

Lesson # 2: We need to base what we do on theoretical perspectives that are useful and helpful. Humanists like Carl Rogers ,Victor Frankl have impacted me, but so to have others in the field of psychology like Albert Ellis, Irvin Yalom, Fritz Perls, Ed JacobsDavid Burns, Virginia Satir, Donald Meichenbaum, Claudia Black


and Mary Pipher to name a few. There is no one right approach. You need to discover what you believe and make sure it works for you and your students.

Each theorist has impacted the way I interact and help students. Along the way I have also worked with some amazing school counsellors , educators and supervisors who have also influenced me in a positive way. Thanks especially to Diane Williams, Deana Helton and Helen MacKinnon.

Lesson #3: Find great mentors and learn from them. One of my all time favorites is Ed Jacobs. Ed is a genuinely helpful man as well as being a great therapist. I love how he interacts and works with young and old people alike and makes a positive difference in the lives of others. Check him out on youtube here:

Lesson #4: There are so many people and resources you can learn from that can impact students in a positive way. I think Leo Buscaglia  has the best lessons that can be used in counselling students. I can honestly say I loved Leo . He was and still is an inspiration to me. Which brings me to an extremely important lesson … lesson #5

Lesson #5: Continually professionally develop yourself. Keep learning and learning and learning. One of my new favorite ways to do this is to connect with other school counsellors worldwide on twitter. See my past post on amazing school counsellors and what they are doing. My twitter handle is @sspellmancann. If you are not on twitter sign up TODAY!

Lesson #6: Read great counselling books . A few I really like are : Impact Therapy by Ed. Jacobs, Creative Counselling Techniques by Ed. Jacobs, Group Counseling Strategies and Skills Jacobs, Masson, Harvill, Letters To A Young Therapist Mary Pipher, The Gift of Therapy  Irvin Yalom, Mans Search for Meaning Victor Frankl

As I think about the lessons I believe a new counsellor should be thinking about I realize that there are some practical considerations that a new counsellor might want to implement. Here are a few:

What are some basics that could be helpful to you as a new school counsellor? 

  • Write an introduction letter to parents letting them know who you are and what you do and post it on the school counselling and school website. (If  by chance your school does not have a website design a letter introducing yourself and put it in the school newsletter ( put it in the newsletter anyway.)
  • Tweet this out to students on the school twitter account and post it to the school facebook account.
  • Introduce yourself to as many teachers as you possibly can. In a large school, this will take time.
  • Plan to meet with your administration team at THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR and least once a month. Celebrate what you do and how you are doing. Discuss what the expectations are of a Comprehensive School Counselling Plan and how you can work together to accomplish this.
  • My plan this year is to implement a joint admin. counseling blog post at least four times throughout the school year. Counsellors and admin should be joint leaders in any school.
  • Show initiative. Everyone in a school will benefit. If you have some great ideas don’t be afraid to share or try out your ideas.
  • Discuss limits of confidentiality with every student. You might want to put a poster of the limits on your office wall.
  • Visually make your office a space students want to be in.
  • Develop a monthly calendar of things to do and check off when you complete them.
  • Have a plan when meeting new students.  It is helpful to get a cell phone number so that you can follow up especially in a self-directed High School.
  • It might be helpful to keep a notebook of all the things you need to know especially if you are in a new school or counselling a new age group.
  • You will want to find a simple and easy way to curate information. I use livebinders and pinterest. They can be extremely helpful tools for new counsellors as well as those that have been around for awhile.
  • You need to be a positive PR person for the school counseling program , so find many ways to connect with students. Brainstorm with your colleagues ways to make connections with students so that they know who you are and what you do.
  • Connect with parents. Let them know through parent council or other means what you do.
  • Ask for help. You are not expected to know everything. Utilize the professionals inside and outside of your building for support.
  • Learn as you go about the many community resources that are available and put them in a binder or livebinder
  • Don’t be afraid to share your innovative or creative ideas with your counselling team ( if you have one). They and you will benefit!
  • BALANCE we all benefit from taking care of ourselves. Don’t burn yourself out in the first year. Practice self-care.
  • You have a big learning curve. BE PATIENT WITH YOURSELF.

I am adding one of my live binders called school counsellor resources. Please as in all my livebinders  take what you like and leave the rest.

As I learn along with my new school counsellor I will be sharing any insights that we both might have. For all of you who are new to school counselling have a wonderful experience and know that what you do absolutely matters.

Welcome to the best profession in the world school counselling.

What I Want My Children To Know…

This summer as in every summer for the past thirty-four years I have come home to Nova Scotia.  As usual when I slow down I have time to reflect. This summer though I have a purpose to reflect because  I am in an open educators vlogging group called openspokes.

In openspokes  we pick topics to discuss and through vlogging we reflect on the topic of the week  with each other. This summers topic is a big and tough one. What do I want my students and / or my own children to know before I die? Even saying that can be scary to me. There are so, so many things I want them to know before I die and I hope I will I have the time in life to tell them.  I know they will learn so many lessons from others, but I want my legacy to be a positive one … so this question feels extremely important to me. It is different from what do I want to do before I die as that is easier. At least for me it is.

I have thought a lot about what I think my own purpose in life is. Being in Nova Scotia makes me understand how I became who I am as this is where I was born.  So many things and people have shaped me into the person I am today. I grew up on a forces base and as a result I have great lifelong friends. We are still connected to this day. I want my children to know that it is important to nurture lifelong friendships. These friendships are amazing and bring so many gifts to your life.  It is so fun to reminisce and remember things we did as kids and make new memories as adults. Our friendships have stood the test of time.”You become the average of the five people you hang out with says ” Drew Houston, CEO, Dropbox. and I have hung around the best of the best people throughout my life. I have wonderful friendships from coast to coast and beyond. I have made friendships in my adulthood that bring me great happiness and are life sustaining. They are a gift in my life that I am unbelievably grateful for.

In regards to my own purpose in life, I believe it is to help young people discover their gifts and talents and to help them navigate through the tough parts of their life ,so that they discover that they too have a purpose. I want young people to trust the process and not be afraid to ask for help if they get lost along the way. I chose to be a school counsellor which has helped me live every day what I believe to be my true calling in life. I also want to be able to help school counsellors and blogging makes it much easier to do so. I can help them with ideas and resources.  If anything I write in my blog or say in a vlog that I do helps school counsellors, it will make me very happy.

I want my own children to choose a career they will love as I have . If they follow their passions I know they will be happy in life and meet fantatstic people who will enhance  and enrich their lives. I am so grateful to go to work and absolutely love what I do each and every day since 1980.

What are some of the TOP things I want my own children to know:

  • You are and were wanted and loved
  • You make life better by being in it
  • You have a purpose
  • I am very grateful for all you have taught me
  • You keep me real
  • Find yourself … then find your own true love and be committed to enhancing your and their life
  • Enjoy every stage of your life
  • Life will have extremely difficult parts, but you can find the strength to get through all the tough times …a sk for help
  • Have faith
  • Make a difference
  • Help yourself … help others
  • Take care of yourself … take care of others
  • Hugs heal
  • Face your fears and take healthy risks
  • Live every day to the fullest
  • Never take anything for granted
  • You are never too old to learn
  • Celebrate the small stuff
  • Travel and get a better world view
  • Read, read, read
  • Learn.  learn, learn
  • Connect, connect, connect
  • Connect with positive people. Make great memories together
  • Laugh often
  • Be active throughout your life
  • There is no place like home
  • Please forgive me for the crazy mistakes I made along the way…  parenting is not easy

I want my own children to know that I have had an amazing life. Not a life without struggles, but a life I am grateful for . I am grateful for all that I have and all that I am able to do. I want my children to know that their dad has always treated me with respect and love. He has been a fantastic role model for them and a loving husband to me. He is an extremely good human being and that is what makes a great partner. They need to always remember that who they choose in life can be one of the biggest predictors of lifetime happiness. For me that has held true . I hope that it is true for them too.

I want my own children to always have HOPE. It will get them through the really tough times in life. I also  want my children to understand that life is what you make it. Take responsibility for everything you do in life and if you really want to do something in life. … make it happen …  it is up to you!

There is no way to put in words all the things I want my children to know, but I hope when they are old and grey they can look back at my vlogs with a little joy , laugh a little and recognize that part of the reason I did vlogs and blogs was to be a model for them , so that they could learn to take positive risks and become good citizens themselves.

I want so many things for my own children. I want them to know it is OK to make mistakes and fail.There is no shame in that. This blogging and vlogging experience has been full of mistakes and learning.  I have mde several mistakes in life, but I feel I have always learned from them and as a result I have become a better person.

I want them to know that I have loved and lost and found a lifetime of love. I want them to know I treasure all our memories together and feel so blessed to enjoy each and every day that I live on this planet.  I so look forward to the many memories that we we will create in the years to come. I love my children so very, very much. They mean everything to me. There are no words to describe how much I love them … I wish there were.

I want my children to have the best life possible one that they and their children can look back on and say they are proud of the life they had.  I hope they will feel they were blessed because they were a part of a family that they could respect and most importantly know they that were fully loved beyond measure and treasured their whole life long.

There are just so many things I want my children to know…

There Are So Many Amazing School Counsellors Doing So Many Fabulous Things

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CC photo by Yanngarphoto.wordpress.com

School Counselling is so important in every school. It is an essential service that is often not paid enough attention to sadly. What I absolutely know is that school counsellors save lives every day in the world. Some might not think that to be true, but I know that when school counsellors are working with students who are at risk they make a difference. What they do in their offices is preventative work and may go unnoticed because school counsellors can’t tell you what happened because of confidentiality.They might have just saved the life of a child who otherwise would not be around to tell their story.

Social media is also assisting students and school counsellors in a positive way. The work of Dr. Erin Mason @ecmmason, who created SCOPE is helping school counsellors every day in every way .  Dr. Erin Mason from SCOPE is fantastic. School Counsellors in Canada and the especially the US are on board with new developments in school counselling and are connecting to even make things better for students everywhere.

Danielle Schultz @sch_counselor ,the founder of School Counselor Blog is also a leader in the field. You can often find her leading #scchat or sharing great information on her blog.

Speaking of #scchat, it always amazes me that when educational chats are listed usually school counsellor chats are not posted. I know that will change as school counsellors become even more active in many spaces on social media.

Below I am going to list some of the great leaders in school counselling and if I miss anyone I appologize as I KNOW you are doing amazing work with students.

  • Erin Luong @eHordyskiLuong (Alberta,Canada)
  • Julia V. Taylor @juliavtayor (Richmond, VA,US)
  • Kaudri Auvaart @Kadriblaster (Australia)
  • Michelle Brown @Michelle0102197 (Canada)
  • Tamica Collard @TamicaCollard (Texas,US)
  • Chris Polley @Teaching_Intl (Shanghai, China)
  • Trent Langdon @TrentLangdonNL (Newfoundland, Canada)
  • Darrell Sampson @CnslrDarrell (Arlington Virginia,US)
  • Brian Zink @Brian_Zink  (Guadalajara, Mexico)
  • Rebecca Lallier SchCounselingByHeart (Vermont, US)
  • Jeremy Goldman @MRJGoldman (Lutherville Maryland,US)
  • ABurston @jyjcounselor  (US)
  • Rick Scheibner @rick_scheibner (Hermiston Oregon, US)
  • Marci Newman ARHSCounselor (UT,US)
  • Amy Sather @AmySatherBlair (Blair Nebraska, US)
  • Jeannine Jervis @CounselorELEM (Indiana,US)
  • Susan Langan @csfml (Cedar Falls Iowa, US)
  • Carol Miller @tmscounselor (US)
  • Randi Rosenberg  @RandiCounsels (Northern Virginia,US)
  • SchCnslrsRock @SchCnslrsRock (US)
  • Fanciene Sabens @FSabens (US)
  • Marty Stevens@martylstevens (Shiremanstown, PA) who writes the Gratitude Journal
  • Jeff Ream @CounselingGeek (US)

This list would not be complete without the work of a fantastic  school counsellor advocate Russell Sabella @rsabella who is a Professor at Florida Gulf Coast University ,  or Carli Segal @carlicounsels and Dr. Kevin Kelly @EmmausKevinK who are leading #sbmhchat School Based Mental Health Chat another excellent chat related to school counselling.

If you are a school counsellor from another part of the world please connect with us on twitter as we have so much to share and we can help each other grow professionally. It is an amazing opportunity for us to learn together. Please put that you are a school counsellor in your descriptor and if you feel comfortable please put where you are from.

TOP SCHOOL COUNSELLOR CHATS 

For more information about #SCCHAT (School Counselor Twitter Chats, montly school counsellor chats on Twitter, visit http://bit.ly/scchat-info.  #SCCHAT Tweet Up!

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#sbmhchat

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I would so love to see more Canadian School Counsellors #cscchat to be active on twitter and I will do my best to encourage other educators to encourage their school counsellors to join. We are entering into a new way of connecting with each other that will only benefit our students and the educational systems even more.

Please click below to view the Haiku Deck on School Counselling:

http://www.haikudeck.com/p/wlK5Q1ceFG/why-school-counselling . Please feel free to edit and share.

What Is Really Important In Life

Shouldn’t we teach all students as if they were Zach? In #openspokes we have been discussing what is important to teach our young people. I believe Zach’s message of hope is one all teachers as well as students can learn from. At the heart of teaching should be teaching from the heart and Zach tells us what is really important in life. As a school counsellor these are the lessons that really matter to me. Lessons like those from  Zach that truly teach.

Zach is an amazing teacher. Here are some of his lessons:

  • you don’t have to find out you are dying to start living
  • most people live in the middle, but you don’t have to
  • be empathetic and compassionate
  • always look for the good in people
  • things are OK when you believe in something greater
  • what makes you happy is seeing someone else smile because you put it there
  • what’s awesome about living in this world is that you can help people
  • the structure of a family is great
  • to be in the same room with your siblings is enough
  • it is not the life in your years , but the years and passion you put into your life
  • spend time with the people you love
  • it’s ok to dream big
  • celebrate the life you have
  • you can communicate love through music
  • music can heal
  • releasing feelings through music is helpful
  • letting people know you love them is important
  • sticking together as a family is extremely important
  • be happy no matter what
  • treat people the same and everything will be fine
  • smile despite what is happening in your life
  • memories are essential…create positive ones
  • friendships help
  • fill your heart up with joy
  • it’s ok to have ultimate dreams
  • people we don’t really know can change our lives
  • the way you live matters
  • surround yourself with those people that lift you up
  • LOVE makes life BETTER

Zach says it alll better than I could ever do, his message is one that I will share again and again. Thanks Zach for giving us your gift of life.

My hope is that teachers will pay more attention to the students we teach than the content. The lessons we teach can make a difference.

The Tough Topics in Education … Suicide

This week in #openspokes we were asked to tackle the tough topics and I decided to tackle the topic of suicide which is NOT easy.

School Counsellors often have to assist students with the grief process. Over the years I have seen students who have lost parents, siblings, friends, classmates and family members some due to a completed suicide which is the most tragic of all.

Below listen to a young man’s story that begins to tell the story of the impact on family and friends. I am not sure that there are any words to descibe the impact that this tragedy truly has,but his words I am hopeful will help other students.

As school counsellors our role is to be helpful in anyway that we can by infusing HOPE in as many ways as possible.

When a school experiences the loss of a student everyone feels the loss as expressed here by a note left to a student who died.

Dear_____,

Even though we haven’t formally met, I look at your spot in English class and I am deeply saddened that you are not here with us…

It is never easy seeing a student in deep pain especially if the loss was tragic or sudden. Often times school counsellors need to ensure that they have dealt with their own issues surrounding grief so that they can best help others. School Counsellors need to be aware of vicarious trauma or counsellor burnout when assisting students who have experienced traumatic events.

Here are my livebinders on Suicide Prevention and HOPE:

Suicide Prevention and HOPE

Mental Health resources

I know school counsellors save lives everyday and I want to thank you for the important work you do that no one else sees. I know because I have been a school counsellor for a long time. So keep doing what you are doing even though it can be extremely difficult at times.

There are students who you will make a difference for… of that I am sure! Take care of yourself so that you can continue to help others.

Canadian School Counsellors Connecting…School Counselling Today Touches Tomorrow

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photo by CRobi-Blog cc

To Touch The Soul of One Human Being Is To Walk On Holy Ground

Stephen Covey

One of our tasks as school counsellors is to help students separate themselves from outside evaluations and erroneous self- concepts, so that they may discover their own being. We need them to remember, regain, renew and strengthen what they once had as a baby, but now seems lost! By focusing on a student’s strengths we are better able to assist them.

Developing a positive relationship with students is essential and a key into their world; if we accept all students with respect and regard we will be effective in helping them.

Paraphrased from Windows to Our Children by Violet Oaklander

 

School Counsellors have an extremely important job to do. No matter what the situation is they are helping students and relationship is extremely important. It is the cornerstone of what school counsellors do. School counsellors are often privileged to have the time to sit down with a student to really understand their world and what it is they need.  Part of the school counsellor’s role is to enhance the students development both personally and academically.

School counsellors across the country have a variety of skills. In my district we have to have a teaching degree as well as a Master’s degree in counselling.

When students come to the school counsellor they know they can get assistance in a number of areas with a variety of issues.

Coordinating Comprehensive School Counselling Programs which recognize the developmental needs of students is vital to the work that a school counsellor does. They provide responsive services in minor and major crisis while also coordinating wraparound services for school/community agencies as well as service providers for education, mental health, justice, newcomers and health care.

The Guidance Council of Alberta has some great resources to provide school counsellors in Canada with a background and framework for what we do.

 Click here: http://www.guidancecouncil.ca/?page_id=29

The role of the school counsellor has changed and is evolving. Ask a school counsellor what they do and you may be surprised. Helping students is what school counsellors do. They want to make a difference in students lives so that they can better navigate the world around them.

Wanting more information about School Counsellors in Canada? The following websites are helpful:

  • Newfoundland: No website available at the present time
  • Northwest Territories: No website available at the present time
  • Nunavut:  No website available at the present time
  • Ontario School Counsellors Association: http://www.osca.ca/
  • Prince Edward Island Counselling Association:  http://www.peica.org/
  • Quebec: No website available at the present time
  • Saskatchewan School Counsellor Association: http://ssc.stf.sk.ca/ssca/ssca.html
  • Yukon Territory: No website available at the present time

The Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association School Counselling Chapter keeps up on school counselling programs across Canada and promotes and supports the role of school counsellors.

http://www.ccpa-accp.ca/en/chapters/schoolcounsellors/

School Counsellors love what they do and more are beginning to connect on twitter for professional development. We also love connecting with school counsellors from all over the world. So please join us follow the hash tags:

Canadian School Counsellor Chat:  #cscchat

American School Counselors:  #scchat

You can follow me @SSpellmanCann

Note to all school counsellors everywhere. If you have a HAIKU DECK that you have created please share with me @SSpellmanCann and I will share with EVERONE as well as putting in a place for all school counsellors to use.

Here is one example:                                                

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Click here:

http://www.haikudeck.com/p/VT42oMjCFM/positive-connections-school-counselling

  • Hope you join in on creating haiku decks that students and you can use.
  • Looking forward to connecting and working together to create FREE school counselling resources that students and school counsellors across the WORLD can use  to make a difference in the lives of our students.