The Psychological Services & Programs department of Community Services operates as a Psychology training centre and is staffed by Registered Psychologists, Registered Provisional Psychologists, and graduate students in Psychology. Our goal is to provide the students of Foothills Academy with the benefit of the expertise of a multi-disciplinary team to best support their learning and help them thrive. There are two main ways in which psychological services are offered to the school:
A. Consulting to the School Staff:
The psychology team provide general consultations to the school staff, which may include:
- supporting the development of IPP goals
- assisting teachers in understanding student learning profiles (based on previous psych-educational assessment reports n the student’s file) consulting with school staff about appropriate mental health counselling referrals
- collaborating with teachers to ensure evidence-based strategies, programming and assessments are being offered in the classroom (such as the implementation of social-skills coaching in classrooms)
B. Providing Mental Health Counselling Services to Students
Through our Community Services at Foothills Academy we offer mental health counselling services to our school students based on the following guidelines:
- If a teacher and/or parent believes that a young person would benefit from ongoing mental health counselling, the student can be formally referred to the counselling team. Classroom teachers have the referral form and the application requires the support of both the teacher and parent(s)/guardian(s).
- The counselling team tries to accommodate as many students as possible, however, priority is given to issues which directly impact the student’s presentation in the school.
- Depending on the availability of counselling team staff, there may be a waitlist. If a spot is available, a member of the counselling team will speak with the student’s teachers, review the student’s school file, as well as contact the parents/guardians directly to complete paperwork for consent and set up a meeting (to gather background information and set goals) prior to beginning on-going counselling with the student.
- Occasionally a member of the counselling team meets with a student (without following the above procedures) if they are experiencing acute distress and would benefit from immediate support and/or an assessment of their safety.
- Mental health counselling works best when the student, and the people they live with, are in agreement about the issues of concern and are all willing to make efforts to affect change. Without a family commitment, we are unable to support the student to the best of our abilities and we may need to discontinue services.
- The ongoing mental health counselling service for school students is free-of-charge and will provide approximately 8-12 sessions. Counselling services may extend beyond this timeframe based on progress and need for services.