Roisin Traynor a graduate here at ICHAS recently completed research on managing mental health at second level: an exploration of second-level guidance counsellors’ perceptions and lived experiences of seeking to meet student mental health needs. Her findings recently featured in the Irish Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy.
The role of the Second Level Guidance Counsellor is a broad one. Arguably, counselling for mental health is just a part of their role and we want to explore how Guidance Counsellors’ assess their ability to perform this part within a school setting. In terms of counselling for mental health within the role of a Guidance Counsellor, the Department of Education has defined this as part of the role as, being offered for development and personal crisis as well as to empower students to “make decisions, solve problems, address behavioural issues, develop coping strategies and resolve difficulties they may be experiencing.” (Hayes et al. 2011). What are the perceptions and lived experiences of the Guidance Counsellor in looking to meet these needs?