About the school counselling service
School counsellors are qualified psychologists or social workers who work within the school wellbeing team employed by the Catholic Schools Office, Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.
They provide direct support and interventions to students; consult with teachers and families (as needed), and collaborate with community providers to coordinate services.
Counselling can help students learn to cope with stress, understand their emotions and behaviour, manage their mental health, and provide a safe space to talk about things that are happening and impacting on their ability to learn at school.
Counselling information is kept securely and handled in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles. The school counsellor is an employee of the Catholic Schools Office (CSO), therefore counselling records belong to the CSO not to the counsellor.
Schools are very conscious of the need for confidentiality between counsellor and student. However, at times it may be necessary for the counsellor to share information to take care of a student’s safety, welfare and wellbeing and meet their duty of care.
Counselling services are confidential except when:
- We are subpoenaed by a court or are required to release information by law
- Failure to disclose information would reasonably place a student or someone else at serious risk to life, health or safety
- A student has given permission to share information either in writing or verbally
- School counsellors are mandatory reporters under child protection laws and so we must report to Community Services and the Diocese’s Office of Safeguarding if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a young person is at risk of significant harm
Accessing the school counselling service
- Students can request to see the counsellor via a teacher, their House Coordinator or at Student Services.
- A student’s House Coordinator or family can also request a referral, providing a student agrees to this.
- Students are asked to complete a referral form (available from Student Services/House Coordinator) or they can talk to their House Coordinator who can complete the referral form.
- A waitlist is created from referrals and students are prioritised by the counsellors
There are three school counsellors at St Francis Xavier’s College in 2021:
- Megan Price (Mon, Tue, Wed)
- Khaalyd Brown (Wed, every 2nd Thur)
- Renee Tyczynski (every 2nd Thur, Fri)