School counselling staff are members of the school learning and support team.
A teacher may recommend the service by referring a student to the school’s learning and support team. As a parent or carer, you may refer your child directly to the school counselling service. Students can also self-refer to the service.
The school counselling service can:
- support students who are worrying about school work, friends, getting in trouble at school or feeling down
- help parents and carers make decisions about your child’s education
- assess a student’s learning and behaviour
- help teachers and students identify and address disabilities that may affect learning
- liaise with other agencies regarding student wellbeing.
School counselling is confidential.
For more information about learning and support teams and the school counselling service, visit:
Swansea High is lucky to have the services of Louise Theissen as our School Counsellor.
Louise is in attendance three days per week and students may self-refer or may be referred by their parents or carers as well as teachers.
Louise is a registered psychologist and experienced counsellor who has helped many students.
What students and their families tell the School Counsellor is treated in a confidential manner. School Counsellors support individual students as they deal with their problems, assist them to learn new skills such as controlling anger or managing conflict, liaise with teachers and families to support student needs, assess learning concerns and facilitate contact with outside agencies. Often a School Counsellor may refer students to external agencies such as Headspace or Community Adolescent Mental Health Services when further support is needed.
To make an appointment you can contact Louise directly or ask at the school office.
Meet James Norman, the Chaplain at Swansea High School. James is Canadian by birth and Australian by choice. He has been Chaplain at Swansea High since 2012 and before that had been volunteering for various programs for 5 years. James is passionate about being a positive voice and champion for young people and values giving every young person the opportunity to both believe in and achieve their best in school and in life.
The Chaplaincy Program is a valuable part of the school's overall Welfare Program. James runs a number of programs for a variety of the school's students including Rage and Scream (Anger Management Programs), Peer Mediation (students trained to assist other students to resolve conflicts peacefully).
The Chaplain is also involved in a number of other activities that happen at the school:
- The Art of Manliness – a program run by The Samaritans Early Intervention Activities to help young men navigate the transition from childhood to manhood
- Assisting with Duke of Edinburgh excursions
- Providing spiritual care for students who desire that type of support
- Being another positive influence and caring adult for students.
James is currently available on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays throughout the school term. He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the school on those days.
James is employed by Community Activities Lake Macquarie Inc. (CALM), a community based organisation that works with families and young people in Lake Macquarie. For more information regarding CALM, visit their website on: http://www.calm.org.au.
This project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education under the National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program.
For more information on the National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program, please visit the website at: http://www.education.gov.au/national-school-chaplaincy-and-student-welfare-program
Our Chaplain also runs a Peer Mediation program where students in years 10 and 11 train to be mediators to enable them to assist students in years 7 - 9 in mediating conflicts.
The program started in 2013 with 8 passionate students trained as Peer Mediators and has grown to include another 16 students in 2014. In addition to training Peer Mediators and facilitating mediations, the Chaplain also runs a one period general information session to facilitate discussion on conflict and positive ways of dealing with it. This information session runs throughout the year for students in years 7 - 9, and provides an opportunity to promote the Peer Mediation Program and find students interested in becoming Peer Mediators.