The role of the Guidance Counsellor can be divided into three main areas: Educational Counselling; Vocational Counselling; and Personal Counselling. This work is carried out in collaboration with the Principal, Deputy Principals, Chaplains, Year Heads, Parents, Resource Teachers and Subject Teachers. In this way, students are informed and supported so that they can optimise their learning, overcome any difficulties and make good career and life decisions.
The Guidance Programme aims to respond to the needs of the student at any stage of their education in the school. Educational counselling encompasses the support of incoming First Years making the transition to post-primary school, subject choice advice in preparation for Second year and Fifth Year, and the development of study skills. Vocational Counselling is delivered through timetabled careers classes in Transition Year and Sixth Year as well as individual careers interviews and careers presentations. The Guidance Counsellor is available to meet individual students and talk about any issues that might be affecting them. Workshops may also be available in the area of stress management and mental health.
Assessment is an integral part of the school guidance programme. It involves the integration and evaluation of data inventories, psychometric tests, interviews, scales, and other techniques which measure an individual’s abilities, aptitudes, interests, personality, values, attitudes, educational achievements, skills, and other relevant information. The guidance counsellor is responsible for the maintenance of professional standards in the administration, interpretation, and dissemination of tests and results.
Updates from Ms Wemyss and Mr Dowling:
Just a word about anxiety in the current situation
Anxiety is a common feeling that everyone experiences at some stage. It can be a normal emotional response to many stressful situations. The spread of coronavirus is a new and challenging event. Some people might find it more worrying than others. Remember that medical, scientific and public health experts are working hard to contain the virus. In time, this threat to our health will pass and life will return to normal. In the meantime, it is important that we look after our physical and mental health.
- Keep a realistic perspective based on factual information;
- Avoid the constant stream of social media updates and stories-it can be difficult to separate facts from rumours;
- Limit how much time you spend on social media;
- Keep a good sleep routine, adequate sleep is important for your physical & mental health;
- Exercise regularly while observing social distance guidelines, going out to puck a ball during a study break is very helpful;
- Eat well making sure to avoid sugary snacks;
- Improve your mood by listening to music or doing something creative.
Finally, anxiety increases when we focus on things we cannot control. Some people will be delighted with yesterday’s decision regarding oral exams, others not so happy. Try not to dwell on decisions that are out of our control. Instead, accept the situation and move on. Concentrate on preparing for the upcoming exams. Do your best and ask for help if you are struggling.
Griffith College: The new world of work has more choices than you might think
Thanks to digital and technological advances, the world of work is changing just as much as other areas of our lives. Already, jobs that once required a human workforce have been fully automated, and it’s likely that the employment landscape will look very different in ten or twenty years than it does now. Despite this, there’s no need to worry for those who are starting to think about what kind of career would suit them and where they see themselves in a decade’s time. The ‘new world of work’ may be moving with the times but this means that there’s a whole array of new, technology-driven jobs that are only just being created. Recent research shows that more and more teenagers are tempted by ‘traditional’ jobs such as law and medicine, but with technical roles available within these industries too, why not consider a more technological vocation? Griffith College believes that all students should graduate with a vast array of skills to make them fully adaptable in the ever-changing years to come.
Interested in law? Consider Data Protection.
If you’re starting to consider a career in law, why not think about data protection? With so much of our lives online, protecting the data of individuals as well as large organisations is a big and important job. A career in data protection could see you managing everything from risk assessments and audits to advising on best practices for safe data storage. Courses such as data management and business studies as well as various law courses are the ideal first step.
Interested in writing? Consider SEO consultancy.
Students who are strong writers may be tempted to go down the traditional route of an English-based course, with the hope of landing a job in writing or editing post-graduation. If you’re a keen wordsmith but also have an analytical brain then a career in SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) could be for you. SEO specialists analyse how a website can appear higher up search rankings and the answer is almost always content. From undertaking keyword research to writing engaging content, a career in SEO can include various aspects. Courses such as computer science and online marketing are great options if you think SEO could be the field for you.
Interested in art? Consider Animation.
For artistic students, finding a way to combine their passion with secure career prospects can be tricky…which is where animation comes in. Animators can be found working in-house for companies as well with design and digital agencies. Projects can include anything from videos to online graphics, marketing campaigns and even TV shows! Griffith College has its own animation course which trains students with the skills they’ll need in a future animation role.
Griffith College is an award-winning college that believes in offering our students the highest quality training and education, with a clear focus on the changing world of work, in order to ensure our students leave us well equipped to begin long-standing careers in their chosen field.
Anyone thinking about an apprenticeship is advised to click here for more up to date information and contact details.
Click on the following link for up to date information on Scholarships
Mental Health supports and services during COVID-19
The spread of coronavirus is a new and challenging event. Some people might find it more worrying than others and may need some extra support.
Online counselling and supports
- Free online counselling and online support groups for people over 18
- Visit www.turn2me.org
- Mental health information and a Q&A service for young people, their parents and guardians, and those who work with young people. Jigsaw also offer an online group chat service.
- Visit www.jigsawonline.ie
- Shine are currently providing remote support and an outreach service to people experiencing mental health problems and their families and supporters by phone and email.
- Visit www.shine.ie/covid-19 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Bodywhys Online Support
- Support for people who are affected by eating disorders including for friends and families. Online support groups are continuing as normal.
- Visit www.bodywhys.ie or email email@example.com
Suicide or Survive (SOS)
- A series of free online wellness workshops and programmes are available from SOS
- Visit Suicide or Survive for more information
Phone, email and text supports
- Alone provide a COVID-19 support line for older people
- Telephone 0818 222 024 (from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday)
- Visit www.alone.ie
- Emotional support to anyone in distress or struggling to cope
- Freephone 116 123 (any time, day or night)
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pieta House provides telephone and text-based support counselling for people who are suicidal or engaging in self-harm
- Freephone 1800 247 247 (any time, day or night)
- Text HELP to 51444 (standard message rates apply)
- Telephone appointments will be provided to replace face to face appointments – contact your local Pieta House for details
- Ireland’s 24-hour national listening service for young people up to the age of 18
- Freephone 1800 666 666 (any time, day or night)
- Text 50101 (from 10am to 4pm every day)
- Chat online at www.childline.ie (from 10am to 4pm every day)
BeLonG To Text Support
- BeLonG To provide support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI+) young people in Ireland
- Text LGBTI+ to 086 1800 280 to can chat in confidence with a trained crisis volunteer (anytime day or night, standard SMS rates may apply)
- While face to face services are closed, information, referral and advice will be provided digitally, by email, SMS, phone call or video conference
- Visit www.belongto.org
Aware Support Line
- Information and support to anyone over 18 about issues relating to their own mood or the mood of a friend or family member, or who experiences depression or bipolar.
- Freephone Support Line 1800 80 48 48 (from 10am to 10pm every day)
- Support and self-care groups nationwide, are cancelled until further notice
- Life Skills Online Programme continuing as normal
- Email email@example.com for services information and support
Crisis Text Line Ireland
- A confidential messaging support service
- Text TALK to 086 1800 280 (any time day or night, standard SMS rates may apply)
- Online support and through the helpline for LGBT+ people across Ireland
- LGBT Helpline 1890 929 539 (every day)
- Gender Identity Family Support Line 01 907 3707
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org for support or information while face to face services are closed
- An instant messaging service is available 7 days a week, from 6:30pm to 10pm Mon – Thur, from 4pm to 10pm Fridays, and from 4pm to 6pm on Sat & Sun
Mental Health Ireland
- Information and support for people who experience mental health difficulties
- Information line (01) 284 1166 (from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday)
- Visit www.mentalhealthireland.ie or email email@example.com for more information
GROW Mental Health Recovery
- Information line 1890 474 474
- Visit www.grow.ie or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or while peer support groups are postponed
Exchange House Ireland National Traveller Mental Health Service
- Telephone and online services and supports are available while face to face and group services have stopped
- Call 01 8721094 (then press 1) for support, help or advice (from 9am to 5pm every day)
- Visit www.exchangehouse.ie for more information
Mobile apps to support your mental health
These mobile apps can help you manage anxiety. They have been reviewed and approved for listing here, by a group in the HSE (Mental Health Apps Review Sub Group). The app developers are solely responsible for their app’s advertisement, compliance and fitness for purpose. Unless stated otherwise, apps are not supplied by the HSE, and the HSE is not liable for their use.
Mindshift (by Anxiety Canada)
A user-friendly self-help tool based on proven scientific strategies, MindShift CBT teaches about anxiety, helping users to engage in healthy thinking and to take action. Users check in each day to track their anxiety and work with tools in the app.
Clear Fear is an app developed for teenage mental health charity Stem4 which uses the evidence-based treatment CBT to focus on learning to reduce the physical responses to threat by learning to breathe, relax and be mindful as well as changing thoughts and behaviours and releasing emotions. You can personalise the app if you so wish and you will be able to track your progress and notice change.
Headspace is a well-known mobile app that teaches meditation and easy to use mindfulness skills. Map your journey, track your progress, and reap rewards in your overall health and wellbeing. You can even ‘buddy up’ with friends and motivate each other along the way.
More online supports
The YourMentalHealth.ie website provides information and signposting on all mental health supports and services that are available nationally & locally provided by the HSE and its funded partners. You can also call the freephone YourMentalHealth Information Line to find supports and services 1800 111 888 (any time, day or night).
This is a list of services that have been made available for free for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to view the list.
GAA Future Leaders Challenge
Due to the worldwide Covid19 pandemic, we are living in very different times. The GAA / PDST Future Leaders Solo Challenge is designed to promote positivity, physical activity and wellbeing among young people, while encouraging them to stay at home and follow HSE guidelines at the same time.
It is a student and teacher challenge which will run for a number of weeks.
There will be different challenges each week, all linked to the modules in the programme.
To get involved, students and teachers record videos of themselves doing the various challenges and upload them to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
Students can enter as many videos they like for as many of the challenges they like each week! If students are registered for Gaisce, they can use these challenges as part of the #GaisceAtHome initiative. Please see below for more details of our links to Gaisce.
Be as creative and as imaginative as you like but remember to stay safe while doing the challenges and at all times follow the HSE guidelines.
To enter a video please make sure to do the following;
- Give your name
- Give the name of your school
- Tag GAA Future Leaders in the post
- Use the hashtag #GAASolo AND #GAAFutureLeader
- Remind people to “remember to stay at home and follow Government guidelines” #ItsInOurHands
Instagram: gaafutureleader Twitter: @gaafutureleader Facebook: GAA Future Leaders
You can do any or all of these as many times as you want! We will have different challenges each week;
a) Bin / Bucket Challenge – Strike the sliotar or kick the ball up in the air and into the bin. Be as creative as possible, the further away the bin and the higher the ball goes the better! Simple…. or is it?
c) Healthy Meal Challenge – Prepare a meal, smoothie or snack showing your club or county colours! If you like use the Recipes for Success book for ideas. Be as creative as possible!
d) Wellbeing Challenge – What are you doing this week to keep positive? Walking the dog, going for a run, singing, painting or dancing…. Whatever are you doing, we want to know about it! Send us videos of what you are doing to keep positive and active. Anything you want that is good for your wellbeing, but mindful of social distancing etc. and remember you can only go within a 2km radius of your home.
It will be incentivised with weekly individual and school prizes.
4 O’Neills Half-zip tops for the best videos EACH WEEK!
Gaelic Footballs & Wall Ball Sliotars EACH WEEK!
Each week we will give an O’Neills training pack with 10 footballs, 10 wall ball sliotars, bibs and cones to the school whos pupils have the most videos online.
The GAA / PDST Future Leaders Programme is officially a Gaisce Challenge Partner. This means that students can use elements of the Future Leaders Programme to achieve their Bronze Gaisce Award.
Gaisce have recently launched their #GaisceAtHome initiative. Students who complete some of the weekly #GAASolo challenges can put them towards their Bronze Gaisce Award under a number of different criteria.
If you do some of our challenges and are also registered for Gaisce, please use both #GAASolo and #GaisceAtHome hashtags.
For more details on #GaisceAtHome visit – https://www.gaisce.ie/gaisce-at-home/
Strategies to help your inner drive, click on the link here
The Parent’s Lockdown six pack, click on the link here
Jigsaw Online Group chats are for young people between 12 and 25 years-old, living in Ireland. These are live discussions online on mental health themes, facilitated by a Jigsaw clinician. Click on the link here
National Geographic are offering free google classroom resources. Click here
Free online videos about stress and anxiety. Click here