How Does a Student Counselor Help Students
The role of a student counselor is crucial in any school. Students face unprecedented mental health challenges in a world where everything is public and fast. More than a job, the school counselor can play a massive role in changing students’ lives, so passion, presence, and intuition are the skills needed for a school counselor to promote health in an educational environment.
The Many Ways School Counselors Can Assist Students
In many ways, student counselors save students’ lives, whether their physical bodies, by preventing acts of self-harm or their mental and emotional lives. Accordingly, having the right school counseling interview questions when interviewing candidates is necessary. Besides a list of educational achievements, the role requires someone with an innate ability to connect with students and instill trust. Students are not always ready to open up, even when they are encouraged to, so the student counselor must know how to build professional relationships with students where confidentiality is essential.
The following are the top ways these professionals can help students.
1. Assist in their Academic Careers
One of the top reasons student counselors benefit schools is that they help students see their potential. It is common for students to feel lost about their prospects or uncertain about their capabilities. Some students don’t even think about their future. An intuitive student counselor can guide students into figuring out their path with a nudge here and there rather than planning out their future for them.
The best student counselors do not tell students what they should do. Instead, they help them see what they are too afraid to see. Words can change a life, and when adults repeatedly put students down, a student counselor’s words can have a life-changing positive impact. With the help of assessments, student counselors can help the students see where they excel and what they can do to continue improving their strengths.
2. Manage Stress, Anxiety, and Other Mental Health Issues
The pressure students face these days is unlike anything we have seen before. The need to be productive and successful has become an unhealthy habit for most. Many of the youth today are unable to do something for the mere pleasure of it. Everything they do must be shown on social media or have a purpose for their goal. This toxic habit of productivity increases stress significantly, and when we are chronically stressed, the risk of anxiety, panic attacks, and depression increases.
Often, people with mental health problems do not seek help, which is why it takes an intuitive and present student counselor to observe the students and seek out those who look overwhelmed. The professional can help stressed and anxious students by showing them tools and habits they can use to better their mental health. From exercise to meditation, a hobby for pleasure, not goals, and social media breaks, there are many tools and habits the student counselor can suggest. The professional can also offer weekly or monthly meetings for check-ins where students can discuss their struggles.
The student counselor can also undertake crisis intervention if a student shows critical warning signs of mental health that can cause harm to themselves or other students. In such cases, the professional can find resources, including community services, to help the students and their families. The role includes advocating, collaborating, and coordinating with the school and community to meet the students’ mental health challenges.
3. Guide the Role Models
Besides interacting directly with the students, a student counselor is responsible for educating the adults around said students, including the teachers and the parents. The professional is responsible for showing the adults the factors that are causing the students stress, including environmental and behavioral elements.
4. Address Barriers
Recognizing unconscious bias and addressing these concerns is another critical responsibility of a student counselor. The professional must not only identify the barriers but also manage them to ensure that every student is protected. The student counselor may have to promote campaigns, speak directly to educators, conduct talks with students, and shut down derogatory behavior.
5. Early Intervention
The student counselor possessing the proper training can perceive learning difficulties and psychological challenges affecting children and adolescents. In recognizing these challenges early on, the students can have their needs met to reach their potential.
6. Provide Special Needs Services
Student counselors can also help prepare for new students with special needs to promote easier integration in the classroom and with students. The professional may oversee students’ programs to ensure the school meets their educational needs.
7. Be a Sounding Board
A student counselor can be an asset for students who do not have anyone responsible they can turn to. With the right attitude and a knack for being professional while caring, the student counselor can help students deal with coming-of-age issues, including friendships, families, academic failures or struggles, and so much more. The professional can be a guiding light for students growing up too fast because of absent parents or financial burdens. The student counselor can help struggling students remain hopeful while assisting them in making better choices for their future.
The Bottom Line
More than a job, the school counseling role is a vocation. The right professionals must have a passion for the role and a great deal of empathy. These professionals are the ones that can steer students’ lives into success and well-being when everyone else is shutting them down, so having the patience always to listen, the intuition to see beneath the words, and a welcoming smile on their faces is essential.