In recent years there has been a significant increase in both the number and complexity of Pastoral Care issues pupils are experiencing. In response to this growing need, the Department of Education provides a free independent counselling service to all post-primary schools. This service is delivered by Links Counselling Service and is viewed as complementary to the school’s Pastoral Care system.
Deborah Griffith is the Links Counsellor in Lurgan College. She is available in school every Monday morning to speak to pupils by appointment or through a drop-in service.
Pupils can make an appointment in two ways:
1. Self referral – by completing the online form at www.linkscounselling.com.
2. Teacher referral – by speaking to any member of the teaching staff who will then arrange an appointment.
Parents who feel that their child may benefit from seeking counselling support should contact Mrs S Hanna. However, counselling is voluntary and the child retains the right to choose not to engage in the process. Although the service is independent and confidential the counsellor respects the ethos of the school and works within the school’s policies and child protection guidelines.
It should be noted that absolute confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. The welfare of the pupil will, at all times, take precedence over confidentiality. The counsellor is obliged to report all incidents of suspected or actual abuse to the designated teacher for child protection.