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New counsellor marks first for Sinai

New appointment shows determination to improve children's wellbeing

    Elizabeth Plaskow
    Elizabeth Plaskow

    Sinai Primary School’s appointment of a dedicated counsellor reflects the increasing importance being attached to children’s mental health and well-being.

    Elizabeth Plaskow, a psychological therapist, uses play, art and talking therapies to help children who are upset or anxious because of issues at school or difficulties at home.

    Around one in ten children from five to 16 is believed to experience various problems that affect mental health.

    Ms Plaskow said counselling was “an accessible way for students to explore, understand and overcome issues which may be causing them upset or stress. We offer 45-minute weekly sessions for children who are referred, as well as a booking system so the children can self-refer for ten-minute drop-in sessions.”

    A post-box on her door has proved “extremely popular,” she said.  “It is important the children know they will be listened to even if I am not immediately available.”

    The school believes one advantage of the new service is that children do not need a clinical diagnosis to use it.

    Headteacher Juliette Lipshaw said: “Within primary schools, there is good evidence that counselling is associated with reductions in psychological difficulties”.
     

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