NZ Association of Counsellors welcomes ERO report on Guidance and Counselling in Schools
The NZ Association of Counsellors has welcomed the release of a study by the Education Review Office into guidance and counselling in schools.
The report represents the findings from phase one of a two phase evaluation of the current provision of guidance and counselling in schools. It states it is clear that those involved face diverse and complex issues relating to the wellbeing of young people.
NZAC President Jonathon Loan says the report highlights the importance of having trained counsellors accessible to students, parents and staff.
NZAC spokesperson Sarah Maindonald, a counsellor at Hillmorton High in Christchurch, says the report has found that around half of all students surveyed will access school counsellors and seek help for a range of issues.
"The data looks good. There is a high uptake of counselling by students. This number is possibly greater than the general population. The report states that students nominated school counsellors specifically as the people they would seek help from for mental health, sexuality and family violence issues. "
Ms Maindonald says the report also says that school counsellors need to be highly visible and respected in schools for the complex work they do.
"We welcome the study as it is important for counsellors dealing with teenagers in distress to feel valued and supported."
The study involved surveys conducted online with school leaders, guidance counsellors and students in Term 1, this year.
The NZAC says the sample of students is relatively small with just 91 students taking part.