Why your school has asked you to seek external support:
When schools talk about seeking support from external services, they are talking about services outside what is provided by the school. Schools’ core business is education, and many schools have a ratio of one guidance officer/school counsellor for up to 1200 students. As you can imagine, cases need to be prioritised based on risk category. In the industry, this is called a ‘Triage Approach’ not dissimilar to what happens in an emergency ward of a hospital.
Students at risk of harming themselves or others are put into a category of high risk and therefore require immediate assessment and support. Government and School mandated reporting procedures are tedious and time-consuming and often leave little time to address cases perceived as low risk. Students who display lower to medium level risk indicators may not receive the time allocation and resources to engage in pre-emptive support programs.
Quite often schools will attempt to compensate for a professional support deficit by utilising year coordinators, school deans, chaplains, ministry teachers, engagement officers or teacher run diversionary programs to deal with wellbeing, behaviour and non-compliance. The school staff are usually not adequately trained or qualified to deal with the mental health aspect of the student’s behaviour and often engage in punitive consequences. The unfortunate reality is that failing to address lower level indicators can eventually culminate in high-risk behaviours. It is commonplace for schools to refer students to external agencies and support services which are more specialised and better resourced to treat students presenting with issues such as school avoidance, depression, academic duress, developmental problems and disorders.
Transitional Support is an external service which focuses on mental health wellbeing including personal counselling, academic career guidance, complex case management involving suicide ideation and at-risk behaviours. Integral to holistic support, we aim to work with the whole family as well as with the young person.
Sessions are tailored to the individual and together we design and develop personalised coping strategies. Strategies may include liaising with schools and allied health and medical professionals to ensure holistic support. Liaison may involve case meetings, consultation, in-service training and professional development.
- Support Strategies during Transitional Challenges
- Complex Case Management
- Parenting Support Strategies
- High-Risk Behaviours
- Mental Health Wellbeing – Nutrition, Sleep, Exercise
- Fight, Flight, Freeze – Anger, Anxiety, Panic – Life Skills
- ASD Social Skilling & Organisation
- School Engagement & Attendance