27th March 2020
Dear Parent /Guardian
In light of the current health situation and school closures, we are very pleased to be able to offer a continuation of the Independent Counselling Service (ICSS) for schools via the medium of online or telephone counselling.
We recognise that this is an unprecedented situation, but we are fully committed to support the mental health and emotional wellbeing of our pupils. These are unusual times and this brings unusual stressors on young people and their families. There may be anxiety about the lack of exam grades, what will happen in the future, personal health or the health of loved ones. There may be grief over the loss of friendships, routine or people. We want to give a response that is supportive and safe for our young people who are the future of our world. With that in mind let me tell you about the online service.
This is a confidential service for young people who would normally attend school from the ages of 11-18. So every year group in our school, even those who would leave school this year can still use it. It will happen on the same day and time as counselling is usually delivered in our school, which is a Wednesday.
If your young person is already receiving counselling you don’t need to do anything. This will continue via telephone or online. The school counsellor will be in contact with them in a few days if they have already indicated to me their wish to continue.
If you have a young person who wants to refer themselves into the ICSS this can be done through the Familyworks website. The address is www.familyworksni.com . You can also refer your young person to the service but you should get their permission to do so first. You can do this by just asking them privately how they might feel about speaking to the school counsellor. It can help to make sure the young person has a quiet space to talk to the counsellor away from the rest of the family.
The service will be delivered to the same standard as in school and will work under the Safeguarding Policy so your young person will be kept safe.
Familyworks have also prepared a new series of online messages for pupils, parents and staff which will be regularly updated on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. The Familyworks Facebook and Instagram pages are https://m.facebook.com/familyworksni and https://instagram.com/familyworkscounselling .
Take care and stay safe.
Mrs E Beckett
Magherafelt High School, 30 Moneymore Road, Magherafelt, Co. Londonderry, BT45 6AF Acting Principal: Mr S Fleming MA (Hons) PGCE
Tel: 028 7963 2385 Fax: 028 7963 4854