RONCALLI COLLEGE

TIMARU, NEW ZEALAND

Guidance

Below are the local contact numbers for various help lines.
Lifeline - 0800 111 777
Youthline - 0800 376 633
TACT Psychiatric Emergency 24/07 - 0800 277 997
CAHMS Adolescent Mental Health - 687 2189
Parents Helpline - 0800 4 727 368
 
Useful Articles
 
It takes a village to raise a child. You are not alone.
Raising teenagers can seem like stepping through a minefield; one day they are talking the next not. You know that something is bothering them, but they are not happy talking about it. You are worried about some of the kids they are hanging out with and the choices they are making when you are not around.

There are many agencies that offer help to families in our community; if you are not sure where you might go for help, please ring or email me (e.walsh@roncalli.school.nz) and I can help you with this.

As the Well-being Coordinator, I am able to see any student. I help them explore their thoughts and feelings to build solutions; supporting them to work through the many aspects of growing up, school life and their personal circumstances building on what their strengths.    

Possible times to see Miss Walsh:
•    Having trouble at school
•    Family issues  
•    Grief/loss  
•    Parents separating
•    Anger management issues  
•    Alcohol or drug issues  
•    Boyfriend/ girlfriend issues
•    Feeling lonely
•    Self- harm
•    Supporting your son/daughter after finishing counselling with another agency

Confidentiality
All conversations with Miss Walsh are completely confidential as trust is crucial. The only time that a conversation may not be able to be kept private is if there is clear risk of self harm or harm to others and Miss Walsh would speak to the student and talk this through with them before proceeding.  

Please feel free to ring me:
Miss Ellen Walsh, phone 688 6003 extension 823
 
How to support your young person with their grief
- Strategies for Parents/Caregivers -
 
The shock of someone taking their own life can impact on a young person in a variety of ways and may be expressed through anger, hurt, betrayal, guilt, blame and disbelief. Young people often have a strong need to understand exactly what has happened and why; this is part of trying to take it all in and make sense of it.
 
Young people may feel overwhelmed by their loss and may consider harming themselves. It is very important to support, encourage and to reassure them that they can talk to you or help them to tell you which adult they might like to talk to.  
 
To help your young person come to terms with the death, you can…
  •  Explain key facts simply and honestly using direct language.
  •  Encourage them to talk about their experiences – don’t tell them how they feel
  •  Reassure them that you are there to listen whenever they need to talk.
  •  Reassure them that no single thing will have caused a person to die, but a mixture of things.
  •  Let them know they are loved, cared for and safe.
  •  For information online: www.spinz.org.nz or www.thelowdown.co.nz
 
It is important that you keep an eye on your young person’s response and check in regularly. Young people’s moods fluctuate greatly when experiencing grief and trauma and it may take weeks or months for some feelings to surface – be patient and remain open to discussion.
 
Some suggestions:
  •  Know where they are and who they are associating with
  •  Know and keep in touch with the parents of their friends
  •  If groups of youth are gathering to share and discuss feelings, ensure adults are close at hand.
  •  Minimise access to alcohol & drugs.
  •  Take the time to spend with your young people and provide the opportunity to discuss feeling and coping strategies.    Remind them that suicide is a long term solution to a short term problem.
  •  Reiterate that there is always help available and discuss what this might be.
 
If you are concerned about any extreme reactions or think your young person may be thinking about harming themselves DON’T WAIT – GET HELP by contacting any of the following:
TACT (emergency response) 24 hr service
 
Ph: 0800 277 997
CAHMS (Youth Mental Health) 687-2189    8.30-5.00pm M-F
Your GP  
Adventure Development 684-5870 or 027 684 5870
Youth Alley 688-6997 or 027 426 7839
Public Health Nursing Service 687-2320
 
With an unexpected death, it is important that the act is not glorified or romanticised. Some young people may seek to blame themselves or others and may talk of doing a similar thing in conversations and facebook etc. It is vital that young people are able to honour the memory of the young person without being engaged in unhealthy talk or actions. 
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