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February 7-11, 2022 is National School Counseling Week (#NSCW22). This week celebrates the unique contributions and impacts school counselors make in our schools. Raptor thanks school counselors for their dedication to helping schools and students succeed.
School counselors are key to student social-emotional wellbeing and academic success. Students need their support—perhaps more than ever before—as the pandemic continues to create uncertainty, trauma, and fear. Unfortunately, nearly 8 million students do not have a counselor at their school, and 3 million of those also don’t have access to other support services, like psychologists or social workers.
The shortage of school counselors makes it difficult to find full-time, in-person support. When schools allow counselors to work virtually, they can partner with remote school counselors instead of being limited to those in the area. Below are two creative ways virtual counselors can assist schools and students.
Lead Virtual Training Sessions
“The major benefit of [training sessions],” Joseph Williams, an associate professor of counselor education at the University of Virginia, says, “is that school counselors can broaden their impact by working through other adults who make up students’ support systems.” This system includes various people within the school community, like staff, administrators, school resource officers (SROs), and guardians.
There are many topics school counselors can teach. They can train staff and guardians how to identify mental health issues, support students with social-emotional learning, and address student concerns about things like school safety, racial injustice, or inequality. Student-focused sessions may cover topics like how to cope with anxiety and depression, as well as how and where to seek help for themselves or someone they know who may be in crisis.
Provide One-on-One Sessions
Across the nation, we have seen an increase in violence and students misbehaving in our schools. Experts believe this is a direct result of how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected students’ daily lives and mental health.
“We’re seeing the effects of trauma getting literally underneath kids’ skin and manifesting in behaviors in our classrooms, in our homes, in our communities, in our clinics, that we’ve really never seen before,” Dr. Jonathan Goldfinger, a pediatrician and chief executive of Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, claims.
School counselors can meet with students one-on-one to help them navigate their concerns, provide advice on specific topics, and address any grievances. Counselors are also uniquely trained to identify students who are experiencing social-emotional issues, like depression and suicidal thoughts. This allows the counselor and school staff to better support these students and help prevent grievances or suicidal thoughts from escalating into crises.
Counselors can also have one-on-one sessions with teachers who need advice or need to talk through concerns they have about a specific student.
Protect Your Schools with Raptor
As counselors and schools work together to support students, it’s important that staff have the right tools to respond to student crises or increased violence. The Raptor School Safety Suite helps schools manage every stage of safety. From approving all entrants, managing volunteers, and confidently responding to any emergency—all in one, user-friendly integrated suite.
To learn more, contact us today to schedule a personalized demo.