We have been contacted this morning by familyworks, the agency which provides counselling in schools. They have asked us to make you aware of the following information:
Online Counselling Service
The mental health and wellbeing of young people during the coronavirus outbreak is paramount. Consistency of care is essential in ensuring that young people are well prepared and can be as resilient as possible for anything they face. Young people in Northern Ireland were already exhibiting high levels of anxiety before this happened and many of them are now very concerned for themselves, family or friends. Anxiety, health anxiety and anticipatory grief are already emerging and will be higher still. For young people a period of lockdown of public services and social distancing will be extremely testing and may lead to further anxiety.
Familyworks will continue to provide counselling through:
• Secure Online 1-1 Video Calling Counselling
• Telephone Counselling
We propose to use a combination of advertising methods, bulk emailing and texting via schools to alert people to the move from the ICSS Schools Counselling Service being based in schools to being provided via a secure online medium during the period of enforced school closures.
They have told us that students who are currently accessing the familyworks service, either through counselling sessions, drop-ins or who are on the waiting list at the moment, will be contacted directly by their counsellor over the coming days.
In terms of students who would like to access the service, either now or in the coming weeks, but who are not currently doing so, they have said the following:
For new clients wishing to refer themselves in…we have set up an online referral process. Young people can complete the referral process via the online form which has already been set up by our Familyworks administration team for remote access on our website. This form will then go directly to the pupil’s school counsellor for action and allocation to an appointment. Counselling will continue at the same time and day as the counsellor will usually be in school.
Any students who would like to refer themselves to the service can do so in the following ways:
The familyworks webpage can be found at familyworksni.com
The following link will take you straight to the online referral form:
They also have social media accounts on facebook, intstagram, twitter and vimeo through which you can also contact them.
We hope the continuation of the familyworks service will offer some support for you in the coming weeks.