Counseling at PHA

MS students in the library

PHA has a team of clinicians that work alongside teachers and caregivers to help students develop social and emotional skills in order to help remove any barriers to learning. Members of the counseling team assist students with gaining skills to best access the curriculum.

Additionally, the counseling team assists students who may be in crisis or assessed for safety in cases of self-harm. To assess for self-harm, clinicians use the Columbia screener. The counseling team also works with teachers and administrators to identify students who may need additional school based interventions to address social/emotional needs. PHA uses the DESSA to monitor students strengths and areas for growth in their social/emotional/executive functioning skills and functioning. At the middle and high schools, the team administers a state-mandated tool called CRAFFT-N, to screen for substance use and refer to resources as needed.

School based services can look like:

  • Helping students build skills to best access their learning and curriculum
  • Groups: students will work with peers on specific skills (i.e. social skills, anger management).
  • Individual one time support: students may choose to talk with a counselor about a specific incident.
  • Classroom lessons on various interpersonal and social skills topics
  • On-going support as detailed in a student’s IEP.
  • On-going support based on building specific skills in collaboration with caregivers and teachers.
  • Referring to outside agencies for long-term support or individual therapy

What school counseling IS NOT:

  • Individual/Family/Trauma therapy
  • Discussions around home challenges and traumatic experiences outside of the school setting
  • Diagnostic
  • Department of Children & Families (DCF)
  • Long-term

Resources for Families:
Riverside Community Health: Individual and family services
Eliot Community Services: Individual and family services
North Suffolk Community Services: Individual and family services, Crisis support: 1-888-309-1989 ; available 24/7
The Children’s Room: Grief & Loss
Parenting Journey: Parenting Support
Samaritans: Suicide hotline or call 988