Why address mental health in schools?
When an adolescent is struggling with their development, learning can be impeded significantly, behavioural issues may emerge and school refusal can occur. Simply stated, unmet mental health needs impede students‘ overall success in school. And it is not only the students whose progress may be impeded. Teachers who come into contact with students in difficulty can feel overwhelmed, deskilled and helpless. Evidence has shown that intervening early can help in addressing issues of vulnerable students who may be at risk of developing mental health problems. However, scarce resources due to cutbacks are impacting on a school’s capacity to provide counselling support and programs to address the social and emotional needs of students.
At LAPCC we work closely with second level schools to provide educative modules that aim to inform, support and improve student’s mental and emotional states. Our training modules can be tailored to meet the needs of the school. Examples of modules include self-harming behaviour, bullying, coping with anxiety, exam stress and body related issues. These modules aim to provide a safe framework within which students can begin to understand and develop strategies to cope with life challenges. It will also aim to encourage a student to seek further support if necessary.
We also provide a service giving access to one-to-one counselling by qualified, experienced adolescent counsellors. There are three main referral routes – the adolescent can self-refer, may be referred by someone from the school or by the parent. The student can be seen in LAPCC rooms or on the school premises, if appropriate.