The Guidance Network
All staff contribute to the pastoral care of our students who also have the support and guidance of a form teacher and Dean at each year level.
South Otago High School’s Counselling Service
The school Guidance Counsellor, Mrs Cath Bloxham, is available to students, parents/caregivers, and staff. She is professionally qualified, attends ongoing professional development, has regular clinical supervision and works from a set of rules called a Code of Ethics
Mrs Bloxham can be contacted by ringing the school office (03 418 0517), contacting the Form Teacher or Dean, or as is more usual for students, leaving a note on her door. Messages can also be left on her answer phone. Parents and caregivers often find it useful to talk through issues on the phone and the Guidance Counsellor can act as a resource person. She has a good knowledge of other outside agencies that may be of use.
What Happens in Counselling?
Counselling provides an opportunity for students to talk about problems and concerns in a safe place with someone who will support them.
Some reasons why students see the Guidance Counsellor:
- having trouble getting on with someone
- parents going through separation
- help balancing school and other commitments
- study skills
- have health problems
- wondering if there are alternatives to school
- concerned about career options
- feeling sad or lonely
- are having problems at home
- a death or tragedy in the home or community.
A Counsellor can help students to:
- improve how they feel about themselves
- think about things in new ways
- do things differently
- reduce stress
- open new options or directions
- plan and set goals
- explore thoughts, feelings and behaviour
- get to know themselves better
- improve relationships
- resolve issues of concern
School Guidance Counsellors who belong to NZAC are bound by confidentiality. This means not telling anyone about students’ private information without their permission or knowledge. Counsellors may need to talk through how best to support students. At times this could include involving someone else, with the student’s knowledge and permission. Only rarely, when a student or someone else is in serious danger, counsellors cannot keep this confidential, because of their duty to prevent harm. If at all possible they will talk this through with the student before acting.
These are organised each year depending on demand and resources available. They may include group activities around issues such as study skills, communication, grief and loss, anti-bullying, and future careers planning. We also have a Public Health Nurse available to see students at the Youth Health Clinic once a week for any health related concerns. Peer Support and Student Support Contacts are also available to provide support and mentoring for the students.