Schools-Based Counselling Campaign / NASUWT Regional Conference

by Michael Thompson, Chaplain

“My mental health is a lot better now than it was before, as the school counsellor taught me how to cope. If I’m still struggling now, I remember what we talked about and can help myself get through my difficult moments.”

Over the last couple of years, students and staff at St Thomas More have been involved in a national campaign to get accredited school counsellors into every school in England. We are extremely fortunate to have a fantastic school counsellor who works full time solely for our students, however this is a luxury that not every school has. Our ultimate goal is for the Government to legislate provision in English schools to bring in line with provision or funding arrangements available in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. More locally we are working with teaching unions and other schools to try and spread the word about our campaign.

On Saturday 20th November, four students in Year 12 attended the Regional Conference for the NASUWT teachers’ union at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Durham. The students were there to share the stories of young people who have benefitted from the school counselling service with teachers and to raise the profile of the campaign. The students formed part of the Key Note Speech to the Conference and spoke eloquently about why the school counsellor is important to the mental health of themselves and their peers around them.