Counselling and Psychological
Mental illness is as real as any diagnosed physical illness and must be treated and taken seriously. Trinity’s team of registered psychologists and social workers are always prepared to provide diagnostic and therapeutic support – through direct support during school hours, but also in providing advice and access to external mental health services and professionals.
Counselling and Psychological Services Staff from left to right: Anya Mahalingam (MSSS), Helen McFarlane (Administrative support), Jessica Staniland (Director), Michelle Sommerfield (Prep), Meg Christie (JS), Petar Vuceta (Prep), Sandi Bell (MSSS), Simone McCann (MSSS), Caitlin Hill (Prep), Sarah Shaw (MSSS), Miriam Webb (MSSS)
Counselling and Psychological Services at Trinity include:
At Trinity, we take the welfare and wellbeing of your sons very seriously. One way this is reflected in the School’s procedures is through the Welfare Teams. If a member of the staff or parent has a concern about a boy’s wellbeing or mental health, a referral is generated and triaged at the weekly Welfare Team meetings at the Senior School, Middle School, Preparatory School and Junior School.
Each referral is handled individually, and a team approach is taken for each case. A referral may involve Trinity’s Counselling and Psychological Support Service, it may involve our Academic Support Service, or it may require a referral and liaison with external professionals, including psychiatrists, psychologists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, paediatricians or community mental health teams.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Service has a team of highly skilled and trained School Counsellors with professional registration in areas of Social Work and Psychology. The role of the School Counsellor is to assist students to develop appropriate skills and help address developmental, academic, social, emotional and/or behavioural concerns that are having an impact on their engagement at school. Their role may involve providing one-on-one support to a student, working with parents, teachers/School staff, or other service providers, and/or providing input into the development of plans to support engagement with learning, manage behaviour or reduce risk. The C&PS Office may also act as a safe space for students who are prone to feeling overwhelmed in the school environment and require a “calm down space”.
Referrals for the C&PS service may come through the School, or from parents or students themselves. Students can present directly to the CP&S Office and request to see a School Counsellor. Alternatively, parents may wish to speak with their son’s Housemaster or call the CP&S service directly to speak with a School Counsellor about their concerns. Students and families can access the C&PS service voluntarily, and have the freedom to choose to attend, consent or withdraw their consent at any time. While a student may be encouraged to attend their first appointment with a School Counsellor, no ongoing engagement with the CP&S Team will be mandated by the School.
For students to feel safe and comfortable talking to their School Counsellor, it is important that they know that not everything they say will be reported back to their parents or shared with their teachers. Across all campuses, attempts will always be made to involve parents in some capacity wherever possible. However, some students in the Middle and Senior School may choose to seek out support without the knowledge of their parents or their teachers. In these cases, confidentiality will be maintained unless concerns arise regarding a young person’s safety or wellbeing. Most students choose to provide consent to share information with their parents and teachers on a need-to-know basis, and this means that some information that the School Counsellor and the student believe is important to be shared, will be discussed where appropriate.
Should you have any feedback or concerns regarding the service provided to a student or family, please discuss this with the Director of Counselling and Psychological Support Services, Jessica Staniland via telephone on (02) 9581 6035 or via email at email@example.com or alternatively, the Deputy Head of School, Bradley Barr on firstname.lastname@example.org.