Guidance counselling provides an opportunity for students to talk about problems and concerns in a safe place. The role of a guidance counsellor is to listen without judging or criticising, to help find out the cause of problems and to help students move forward from the situation they may find themselves in. We regularly play a key role in planning and implementing programmes and services to enhance student wellbeing and work towards reducing barriers to a student’s progress.
Counsellors are able to work alongside families towards supporting our students and work closely at times with external agencies, to ensure families and students are able to access the resources available within our community.
Students and the counsellor can negotiate how frequently you attend appointments and for how many sessions. You can also bring a support person or friend if you wish. Common issues our counsellors are able to support students and whānau with include:
Inability to concentrate
Low self esteem
Bullying and harassment
Loss and grief
Lack of motivation/goal setting
Drugs and alcohol
Issues at home
Confidentiality There are a number of guidelines relating to confidentiality and practice that the Guidance Counsellors must adhere to. Counsellors may need to talk through how best to support students. At times this could include involving someone else, but this will only occur with the student’s knowledge and permission. However, when a student or someone else is at risk, counsellors may not keep confidentiality, because their duty is to prevent harm. If at all possible they will talk this through with the student before acting.
Appointments There are three main ways you can see a counsellor:
Students can go to Student Services and ask to see a counsellor at any time.
Vicki Patton I have been a school Guidance Counsellor for quite a few years both at Wakatipu High School and at Cromwell College. I was a teacher before that. I have two teenage children who have attended WHS. I love yoga and being in the outdoors, either walking or riding. I really appreciate the beautiful place we live in here. I am full time here at school. I really enjoy the variety of all that comes from working in a high school. It is a privilege to work with, and be trusted by, our young people at school, their whanau and the community.
Kat Denniston I am pretty new to Wakatipu High, but I have been working as a counsellor for a really long time. Before moving to Queenstown, I worked in the drug and alcohol and general mental health field, and did some work in the prisons. I am at WHS on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and still work as a counsellor in private practice the rest of the week. I am really enjoying being part of the school community (as both a staff member and a parent) and I am loving working alongside our rangatahi.
Rhys King I have been living in New Zealand for over 5 years now, and come all the way from… Australia. Before my relocation to Queenstown, I worked as a Glacier Guide on the Fox Glacier. I have worked to provide counselling and support for young people and families for a number of years; primarily in a child protection environment, as well as youth justice and secure youth residential care. I love the outdoors and getting into the hills whenever I can. I am completing post-graduate studies in Psychology and love to get nerdy and discuss the brain!
Lucy Ford Many of you will know me as Mrs Ford in the English classroom. I am an ex-Wakatipu High School student and understand our school well. I am completing my Masters in Counselling as I am passionate about supporting young people to cope with the demands they face in an increasingly complex world. I also work alongside the Wellbeing Council to support school-wide wellbeing. When I am not teaching or counselling, I love spending time with my friends and family and exploring this beautiful place we are so very lucky to call home.
Health Nurses Students also have free access to a registered Health Nurse who visits the school every Monday at Ako time/Tuesday at Break 2, in one of the meeting rooms opposite the sickbay. No booking is required and students can come and wait to see the nurse.
Helplines, Websites and Apps See the QLDC website for a list of local health and social services.
To talk to someone:
Freecall or text 1737, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for support from trained counsellors.
Freecall Youthline 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or online chat.
Freecall What's Up 0800 942 8787 (for 5–18 year olds). Phone counselling is available Monday to Friday, 1pm–10pm and weekends, 3pm–10pm. Online chat is available 7pm–10pm daily.
Freecall Lifeline on 0800 543 354 or text HELP to 4357.
To get help from a registered nurse 24/7, call Healthline free 0800 611 116.
Contact your GP
If you feel depressed or anxious, talk to a trained counsellor 24/7 call the Depression helpline 0800 111 757.
If you are having thoughts about harming yourself, call the Suicide Prevention Helpline 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOK0)
For sexuality or gender identity issues call OUTLine NZ 0800 688 5463 (0800 OUTLINE) 9 am–9 pm weekdays and 6–8 pm weekends.
If you are dealing with an alcohol or other drug problem call Alcohol Drug Helpline 0800 787 797 10 am–10 pm.
For support after rape or sexual assault, call Rape Crisis 0800 883 300.
Websites: Mental Health Foundation contains tools and support to build and sustain wellbeing Allright provides practical ideas on looking after yourself and your whānau The Lowdown is a website to help young New Zealanders recognise and understand depression or anxiety. Free-text service: text number 5626.