School Counselling

The Diocese of Broken Bay employs school-based counsellors in both primary and secondary schools.

The school counsellors are generally qualified social workers or psychologists who specialise in child and adolescent mental health. Working as part of the Pastoral Care & Wellbeing Team, school counsellors support and assist schools to better understand and manage student mental health issues, with a view to improving student outcomes.

Primary students are generally seen at their school during school hours. Parent permission is sought for students prior to being referred to the primary counselling service. This service is a short term counselling and mental health assessment service. Where longer term intervention is required referral is made to external agencies.

Secondary students can self-refer to the school counsellor or may be referred via school staff or parents. The nature of intervention varies depending upon the type of issue presented. Generally intervention is longer term than that offered in primary schools, however students presenting with serious mental health issues are often referred to external agencies.

The school counsellor service is supported by an Education Officer - Counselling and a Psychologist based at the Catholic Schools Office.  The Education Officer - Counselling is responsible for providing support and consultation to all school principals and counsellors on matters pertaining to student mental health and critical incidents.