Links Counselling During School Closure

Links Counselling During School Closure

Links Counselling have been given the go-ahead by EA to continue with counselling sessions for schools. These will now take place in one of two ways:

1) Counselling sessions via the telephone
2) Counselling sessions using video calling

The drop-in will also be offered at the usual time each week (during lunchtime) and pupils can access this by contacting Links on 028 3834 2825.

How it will work:

1) Referrals will continue as previously - key contacts and parents can continue to refer pupils through our website and pupils can refer themselves through our website or during drop-in by calling the number supplied.

2) With the agreement of the pupil, ongoing counselling will continue by their chosen preference of telephone or video. This will be at an agreed time each week and will be during the normal time and day the counsellor would usually be available in school. The calls will take place using a withheld number or video using the counsellor's email address. It will be communicated that the counsellor is only available during the time of their allocated appointment and if they need to speak to someone urgently then they will be encouraged to contact Lifeline or Childline.

3) Those in ongoing counselling or on the current waiting list to access counselling will need to either supply their contact number for telephone or email for video and download the Zoom app on their phone or computer (skype is also an option for anyone who would prefer). If they do not want to continue or use these mediums their case will be closed and they can re-refer when school returns.

4) Any pupil who does not respond to a telephone or video call at the agreed time will be sent a text or email offering another appointment. If they do not respond within one week the case will be closed and the key contact updated.

5) Weekly key contact and counsellor meetings will continue at an agreed time. Presenting issues/ concerns, waiting lists and referrals will be discussed so the key contact will continue to have an overview of all those accessing the service.

6) The counsellor will continue to make the designated teacher aware of any safeguarding concerns (it is, therefore, important that the designated teacher is available during the counsellors normal working hours for that school) and follow up actions agreed. The counsellor will email the designated teacher a safeguarding record form.

7) Where the young person is assessed as not being 'Gillick Competent', the need for a telephone consultation with parents/ carers will be discussed and agreed with the young person. The key contact will be informed of this.