I’m so pleased to hear that the State Board of Education is rethinking the role of school counselors.
School counselors have been trained to do responsive services, such as individual and group counseling. However, the last several years the state has put so much pressure on counselors to spend their time to get students “college ready,” to test and other such duties, that many cannot find the time to get to know the students on a personal level.2 comments on this story
If counselors only work with students during a crisis, the needed relationship and trust hasn’t developed that would allow the student to share whether they or a friend is in trouble. When counselors can take the time to counsel individual students, run grief, divorce, anger management and other groups as needed, the students will likely turn to their counselor when they or their friends are dealing with suicidal thoughts.
When students can learn to manage the chaos or anxiety they are experiencing, they usually do better in academics. Counselors must have the opportunity to teach social skills and model how our youth can cope with the challenges they face in so many areas of their lives. Each time I hear of another student suicide, my heart breaks. Over the years I’ve seen many students work through their heartaches with their school counselors. Please allow that to happen.