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School-aged children, teenagers/adolescents and young adults can experience mental health difficulties the same way as you and me. One of the notable differences, however, is that they may cope with difficulties for the first time in their life. Therefore, I find it essential to provide them with the support they may need to successfully cope with their issues. After all, the way they learn to cope with issues at a younger age, may guide their decision-making in their adulthood.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the way I work together with schools to best support young people has changed. Due to the number of lockdowns to date, just like many other businesses, I had to adapt to the changes and find a solution, which meant offering online therapeutic sessions at students’ homes (and then gradually back at school). This method has proved to be effective so far.
When I work with a school, I usually liaise with the inclusion manager, the designated safeguarding leads or in general the school staff who are in charge of the mental health support of students. We can also organise meetings upon request to keep the school up-to-date with any relevant information regarding the students (while strictly following confidentiality rules).
In case of a sefaguarding problem arising, I will follow the school’s safeguarding policies and procedures and other general guidelines about safeguarding children and young people (e.g. as it is outlined by BACP).
For therapy within school, the students would need a computer with access to MS Teams, a wecamera and microphone (headset is optional), and a private room where they can freely talk. In addition to that, I would also recommend to allow students to have 5-10 minutes after each session, so that they can safely get back to the mindset of being at school.
The 6-weeks holiday is understandably an enjoyable period when children and young people can relax, “recharge” and get ready for new challenges. However, it may not be like that for every single student. I realise that funding can be challenging for certain schools/colleges. Therefore, I offer an affordable service, so that those children and young people who need it the most can have the right support even through the 6-weeks holiday. The reduced fee for the 6-weeks holiday is £40 per session, including administration time. During this period, I liaise with families/carers to manage appointments and follow safeguarding policies outlined by BACP.