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Board Mental Health Resources

Student Support Services

WHO ARE WE?

Our team consists of 5 Child and Youth Workers and 3 Social Workers who are trained to work with students individually, in groups, or in classroom settings on emotional, social, and/or behavioural issues, which are affecting their academic achievement and well-being.

For individual and group work, input and consent from the caregiver and student is required, and depending on need, either the school social worker or the CYW may be assigned. This decision is determined in consultation with members from the school team, Student Support Services and Board Mental Health Lead.

HOW DOES A STUDENT GET REFERRED FOR SCHOOL BASED COUNSELLING SERVICES?

Students and/or their caregivers are encouraged to speak with their child’s teacher if they have concerns about social, emotional or behavioural needs. At times, the teacher may be the one who reaches out to the caregiver if they have noticed changes or challenges for the student.  Together, the caregiver and teacher can determine if further intervention is needed. From there, the teacher may involve the principal, guidance counsellor or Special Education Resource Teacher (SERT), who with input from the caregiver and/or student may make a referral to Student Support Services or recommendations to access supports through the community.  

WHAT CAN BE EXPECTED FROM SCHOOL BASED COUNSELLING SERVICES?

School based counselling services are generally short-term (4-6 sessions) aimed at enhancing student success.  The CYW or Social Worker will meet with the student and provide support, skill-building and counselling which address their main area of concern. Additionally, the caregiver may be contacted to assist in completing questionnaires or screening tools in order to aid with intervention planning for the student.  If the student requires more intensive and/or specialized services, help with the referral process to community services can be provided.

WHAT CAN BE EXPECTED FROM SCHOOL BASED GROUP SERVICES?

At times, it can be beneficial to group students together who are experiencing similar social, emotional, and behaviour challenges, in order to normalize feelings and practice problem solving and skill building. In these cases, caregiver consent is required and the CYW or Social Worker will provide evidence informed programming to address the groups needs.

WHAT CAN BE EXPECTED FROM CLASSROOM SESSIONS?

CYW’s or Social Workers may provide psycho-educational sessions in classrooms where they are invited by the teacher and/or Principal in order to enhance the social emotional learning outcomes of students. In these cases, caregivers may be informed of Student Support Services involvement with the class, however consent is not required.

TRUST AND CONFIDENTIALITY

Information shared by students  through individual or group counselling is kept confidential as required by the Personal Health Information and Privacy Act/ Freedom of Information and Privacy Act, with a few exceptions. Student Support Services staff are required to share information with parents and others if the child is at risk to harm themselves or others. Additionally, we have a duty to report if a child discloses abuse as outlined in the Child and Family Services Act.

Should you have any questions, contact the School Mental Health Lead, Dianne Wdowczyk-Meade at 519-756-6505 ext. 413 or dwdowczyk@bhncdsb.ca