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Catholic Care Psychotherapy and Counselling Service

School-based counselling to support children and young people with mental health issues.

Mental health issues obstruct many key goals for children and young people. They can disrupt learning, underpin truancy, increase rates of school exclusion, and lead to the abuse of alcohol and drugs.
Many young people are increasingly turning to self-harm as a coping mechanism. Counselling can be an effective early intervention strategy for young people who have a wide and disparate range of problems.
Evidence shows that school-based counselling is associated with improvements in relationships when there are family problems; the ability to cope after bereavement; eating disorders; bullying; and other emotional, behavioural and social difficulties, including management of anger.
The school-based counselling services through Catholic Care is offer as one-to-one supportive therapy, typically referred through their pastoral head teachers or other school based staff. Children and young people may attend between 3–6 sessions on average.

Does it work?
Recent research has provided evidence of the effectiveness of school-based counselling in reducing psychological distress in young people (McArthur et al., 2012; Pybis et al., in press)
It is often perceived by young people and school staff as non-stigmatising, accessible and helpful (Cooper, 2009).

How does it impact on education?
In Secondary schools students have reported that attending school-based counselling services positively impacted on their studying and learning along with improvements in attainment, attendance and behaviour of young people who have accessed school-based counselling services (Pybis et al., 2012).