Introducing Our Health Services Team

Bishop Desmond Tutu says, “There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in”. This has been our aim in re-shaping the Health Services team and their work at Santa Maria College. We want to work as proactively as possible with a wide range of students and experts to support all of our students. This approach also reflects the Framework for the Development of Pastoral Care in Catholic Schools as published by the Catholic Education Office of Western Australia.

Framework for supporting all girls

Our psychologists, nursing and Student Services staff form what we will refer to as our Health Services team. These staff will address the needs of our students in two main ways:

  1. They will assist our girls in ensuring they receive the appropriate care from the relevant staff member in times of need, as we have no intention of not ‘pulling girls out of the water’ when they find themselves in over their head. The Health Services team will continue to work closely with the Deans of Year and Director of Pastoral Care to ensure that we provide “wrap-around care” to those girls who need help.
  2. As a priority, College psychologists will be working more widely with different groups of girls across the College in a proactive and preventative way. For example, through the Reason for Beingprogram in Year 9 (formerly the Transition program), the co-curricular Balance program and during Pastoral Care Time (PCT) sessions where psychologists will deliver information and share their knowledge and skills with an entire Year group in an area of need for the girls.

How to access help

This year we have implemented a new referral and intake process. Girls in Years 7 – 12 can still refer themselves for support, or staff or parents can do this for them if they have concerns. Years 5 and 6 referrals must come from parents or teachers. You can complete this referral online or in-person (if assistance is required). You will be asked to provide a brief outline of the student’s needs. 

To access this referral form

Years 7 – 12 girls have access to the link via the Mental Health Strategy OneNote.

This new system will allow us to assess and prioritise each student’s needs and allocate students to the College psychologist whom we believe will best suit their needs.

Our Health Services team will provide support to students through brief, non-therapeutic counselling (4 – 6 sessions at a time) when required and assist families in accessing treatment for clinical concerns on an as-needs basis. 

The Health Services team are the liaison point for families and external professionals. This will help ensure an integrated, connected, and collaborative approach to supporting student learning is implemented at the College.

What A Term! So Many Opportunities – Jennifer Oaten

As I look back on the past nine weeks, I am so grateful for who we are as a community and what we have achieved. Through the dedication of our staff and the enthusiasm of our students, we have established new connections, immersed ourselves in opportunities and worked through challenges.

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