Mental health support for students 

Taking care of your mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak is vital. Many people, including Carey staff, students and parents are currently experiencing worry and anxiety about the coronavirus, as well as managing the challenges of social isolation and navigating the new experience of online learning. Anxiety can be an uncomfortable emotion, but it is also important in making sure we take steps to protect ourselves.

Anxiety can be just as contagious as a virus. There is a strong connection between the mind and the body – our mind is very powerful. Chronic stress can have serious implications for our health, because when we are stressed, our body releases cortisol into the blood stream, and higher levels of cortisol over time lead to compromised immunity.

Maintaining good mental health is just as important as washing our hands in helping us to fight this virus and reduce our stress levels.

With all of this in mind, we have put together a list of strategies and ideas to help you manage and prevent COVID-19 anxiety, which you can access here.

Carey also has a number of resources in place so we can support students through this uncertain time.

School Psychologists
Our school psychologists will be continuing to provide counselling support to students as required during this period of online learning. Appointments will be available during the same regular school operating hours (8.30am–3.10pm) and term dates.

Students with pre-arranged appointments prior to our migration to online learning will be given first priority. New requests will be assessed as to whether the presenting issue and level of associated risk is appropriate to be managed remotely. In the event that the presenting issue needs face-to-face management, a referral to a provider within the community* will be suggested. This also applies in the event that a pre-existing student’s presentation changes to the extent that remote support is no longer appropriate.

*Please note that these providers may be similarly affected by the current public health conditions and a referral is not a guarantee that these providers will be able to see your child.

It is our strong recommendation that parents and students continue to see their classroom teacher or mentor as the key contact during this period. Classroom teachers and House staff can consult with the school psychologists as to whether a referral would be appropriate. As always, our school psychologists are available to support parents regarding their children’s wellbeing.

How the sessions will work
Students may indicate whether they would prefer a phone call or a video session.

In the event that a phone call is preferred, the student will be asked to provide a contact number. The phone call will be made from a private number, so if the call is missed by the student they will not be able to return the call. Instead, the psychologist will make another attempt to call the student after a few minutes.

If students would prefer a video session, the psychologist will connect with the student via the video conferencing function within Microsoft Teams at the time advised in the meeting invitation. As with phone calls, if the student does not accept the video connection at the agreed time, another attempt will be made to connect after a few minutes.

If the student is no longer able to take the call at the designated time, renegotiation of a time can occur by email. Similarly, the School Psychologist will advise a student as soon as practicable if they are no longer able to connect at the pre-arranged time.

Students (and parents of Junior School students) will be advised as to privacy and confidentiality considerations and encouraged to take the call or video conference in a private location. Many families have rules at home about phones and devices in bedrooms or other private places, so this will need to be discussed with your child in the event that they choose to access counselling support during the online learning period.

Mental health resources

Mental health contacts

Please feel free to contact Allan Griffin, Acting Head of Student Development, if you have any general questions or concerns.

Support Carey Family Businesses

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, many small businesses have struggled to stay afloat. In order to help those within our community, the Carey Family Business Directory provides a free service to support and promote businesses within our community.

Supporting local businesses from within the Carey community can provide a greater level of trust and a sense of connection in the relationship between the customer and the business owner, in turn ensuring the best level of service. Additionally, every purchase or service we access from a small business helps to improve the local economy by creating and sustaining jobs.

The Directory will initially be opened to all current parents to promote businesses they own. We will look to expanding our database next year to enable our broader Carey community to participate.