At GSIS, every student’s wellbeing, happiness and safety is of paramount importance to us.
While strong academic foundations are core to GSIS’s educational philosophy, pastoral care is also an integral and important part of school life; the two are closely related. Our holistic approach encourages everyone to work together to bring out the best in our students. We want to see pupils thrive and meet not only their academic potential, but also personally so they become resilient, independent and caring individuals well-equipped to handle challenges they may face in and outside of school and in the years to come.
Our school counselling service is an additional source of support for students, alongside that of parents, friends and class teachers.
Here on this page, you’ll find some information about what we do, who we are and how to reach us, as well as some well-being resources which we hope may be helpful for students and parents.
What we do (or what is counselling?)
Counselling can be described as a process of guidance and assistance whereby a qualified professional, a counsellor, helps and supports a person with any personal, social or psychological problems and difficulties.
Our counsellors listen without judgement and provide a safe and comforting space at school for students to talk in private about their issues, and will work together with a student to find solutions and ways to move forward.
Seeing a counsellor is a positive step in trying to overcome a difficulty; everyone encounters challenges at certain points in their lives where they may need some professional support to help them through.
The school counselling service can help with a range of concerns, such as:
- anger management
- depression, low mood
- eating disorders
- health concerns
- identity and self-image
- isolation and loneliness
- lack of motivation
- physical, sexual, emotional abuse
- relationship difficulties with friends, peers, family
We welcome any inquiries, big or small.
|In the kindergarten and primary school, our counsellors strive to identify concerns early on and provide timely help. Our aim is to equip our students with tools and skills in the areas of empathy, problem solving and self-awareness so that they are empowered to handle current and future challenges.
In secondary school, we make sure our students feel supported to achieve their maximum potential whilst managing expectations and set-backs. We encourage students to be resilient and help find ways of dealing with issues ranging from pressure, loneliness, and anxiousness.
Counselling may be a one-time occurrence or an on-going process, depending on what is suited to the person in need, and sessions may occur one-to-one or in small groups. School counsellors may also help educate on pastoral related topics, such as drug use, bullying, respect and consent, in a class setting.
There can be many challenging situations in life that students need not deal with alone. If you are someone who is struggling, we urge you to seek the support of adults. We are available to listen and help - to offer a friendly ear or a shoulder to cry on. Our caring, experienced and approachable counsellors are always available to comfort, guide and support.
Confidentiality and Safeguarding
We understand that some students are apprehensive about going to counselling in fear that others will find out. It’s important to know that what is discussed in counselling is confidential. However there are some rare exceptions when certain information cannot remain private and where we have to widen confidentiality.
We have a duty of care, and are required by our professional code of conduct and Safeguarding Policy, to disclose information when concerned about a child’s safety. In cases where a student is at risk of significant harm we have to inform and enlist the help of key people (senior members of staff responsible for safeguarding, parent/s, on occasion external professionals) so we can best support the student and keep them safe.
Disclosure of information will be limited to a small number of people, on a need to know basis only, and will remain in confidence with these people.
If we have to break confidentiality then we would speak to the student beforehand to discuss the reasons why, the steps to be taken, how best to do this, and their feelings about it.
Counsellors should explain confidentiality and its limitations during the first appointment. Safeguarding is as well a part of our whole school prevention curriculum within all classes from Kindergarten to Secondary.
|Here is an example:
A teenage girl tells a counsellor that her friend has not been eating and has lost a worrying amount of weight recently; the friend frequently skips gym classes because of her lack of physical power and lack of energy. The girl is afraid that her friend might be anorexic. This is the sort of information that we cannot keep between the girl who came to us and ourselves. For safeguarding reasons, we would need to find out whether the friend’s health is at significant risk or not. We would contact the friend, and may also speak with the member of staff responsible for safeguarding and the parent/s of the girl. The girl who talked to the counsellor and entrusted them with her concerns will be kept anonymous, informed of what steps we are considering taking and the reasons why we have to reach out to other parties involved.
MEET OUR COUNSELLORS
For German speaking students
(Kindergarten and Primary):
Room: UG08 in Primary (Tues, Thu, Fri), 404 in Kindergarten (Mon, Wed)
Tel: 2180 0541 (Tue, Thu, Fri)
For English Speaking Students
(Kindergarten and Primary):
Room: 404C in Kindergarten (Thursday, Friday)
Tel: 2550 2199 (Thu, Fri)
Frequently Asked Questions
- Students can self-refer to the service by emailing a counsellor or visiting the counselling room directly
- Students can ask their Class Teacher, Head of Year or any member of staff they trust to contact the counsellor on their behalf.
- If you are a parent or carer, you may refer your child directly to us or speak to a member of staff with a request for their child to see a counsellor.
- A teacher may recommend the service by referring a student they are concerned about.
If your child is receiving counselling, you can support them by:
- Respecting their privacy and the confidential nature of counselling
- Let them know that you are available if they need to talk and encourage them to express their feelings and needs with you where possible
- Praise their strength in seeking help
Please feel free to reach out to our school counsellors if you need advice or have questions.
Emotional Support in Hong Kong
- Social Welfare Department
Government Websites with a lot of useful links
- The Samaritan Befrienders Hong Kong
24hr Hotline: 2389 2222
- The Samaritans Hong Kong
- Suicide Prevention Services
24hr Hotline: 2382 0000
- Tung Wah Group of Hospitals CEASE Crisis Centre
24 hours Hotline: 18281
- Caritas Family Crisis Support Centre
24 hours Hotline: 18288
- Youth Outreach
24hr Hotline: 9088 1023
- Richmond Fellowship of Hong Kong JUSTONE
24 hours Hotline:3512 2626
- Suicide Prevention Hotline Services Youth Link
Hotline (14:00 - 02:00): 2382 0777
- The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups
‘Youthline’ Hotline (Mon-Sat 14:00-02:00) : 2777 8899
- Joyful Mental Health Foundation
Emotional Support Hotline (Monday-Friday 10:00-13:00, 14:00-17:00): 2301 2303
- Hong Kong Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA)
Women hotline session (Mon-Fri 14:00-16:00) and Counselling hotline session (Mon-Fri 19:00-21:30):2711 6622
- Against Child Abuse
Parent-Child Support Line: 2755 1122
- Open Up (Round-the-clock counselling (Accessible 24/7)
Facebook messenger : m.me/openup.hk
SMS: 91 012 012
- Caritas Infinity Teens WhatsApp: 9377 3666
Service Hours: Monday, Tuesday: 10 am to 6 pm, Wednesday, Thursday: 2 pm-10 pm, Friday, Saturday: 6 pm to 2 am
Cyber Youth Support Teams, Hong Kong Children and Youth Services
WhatsApp: 6280 6281
Service Hours: Monday, Tuesday & Saturday: 6pm – 2am, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday: 6pm – 10pm
- uTouch, Cyber Youth Support Teams, Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups
WhatsApp: 6277 8899 (Tuesday–Thursday: 4pm–10pm, Friday–Saturday: 4pm–2am)
- St. James’ Settlement Youth Service 港島區網上青年支援隊 - Six Degree Hubs
WhatsApp:5933 3711 Telegram: hearforyou Facebook: SJSSDH Instagram: sixdegreehubs Website:www.cyberyouth.sjs.org.hk
Service Hours: Monday: 10am – 6pm, Tuesday: 2pm - 6pm, Wednesday: 10am – 2pm, Thursday: 2pm – 10pm, Friday & Saturday: 2pm – 2am
- BGCA Nite Cat Online Cyber Youth Support Team
Online Chatroom: http://nitecat.bgca.org.hk/tc
WhatsApp: 9726 8159 / 9852 8625 Service Hours: Monday, Tuesday & Friday: 6pm – 2am
provides a range of support groups
- Disassociated group (Ages 14-18years)
- Study Hall (Ages 14-18 years)
- Rainbow Tribe LGBT+ group (Aged 10-17)
- Mindfulness Art Jam (Ages 10-14 years)
- Dungeons & Dragons - high energy role playing focussing on theory of mind, regulation & collaboration (Ages 10-13 years.)
- Dyslexia support (Ages 7-14 years)
- Boys group (Ages 9-13 years)
- Girls group(Ages 7-10 years)
- Social Ninjas (Ages 6-10 years)
- Bubble tea club (chatty kids who want to connect) (Ages 6-10 years)
- Play Pairs (Ages 2-4 years).
- Munch Bunch (Ages 2-4 years)
OCD monthly (15+) for young people suffering with anxiety, depression or ocd
St John’s Cathedral Counselling Service
offers some support groups
offers some support groups
- My Life
- Headspace (cost)
- Calm (cost)
- Ten percent happier (cost)
- Woebot (age 12+), free
- Smiling Mind, free
St. John’s Cathedral Counselling Service
Resource The Counselling Centre
Resources for Parents
The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults by Frances E. Jensen and Amy Ellis Nutt
The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson
Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions Into Adulthood by Lisa Damour
Boys Should Be Boys: 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons by Meg Meeker
Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys by Stephen James
The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman
The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers: The Secret to Loving Teens Effectively by Gary Chapman
You Will Be Okay: Find Strength, Stay Hopeful and Get to Grips With Grief by Julie Stokes
The Self-Esteem Workbook for Teens: Activities to Help You Build Confidence and Achieve Your Goals by Lisa M. Schab LCSW
Mindful Parenting for ADHD: A Guide to Cultivating Calm, Reducing Stress, and Helping Children Thrive (A New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook) by Mark Bertin MD
Transgender Teen: A Handbook for Parents and Professionals Supporting Transgender and Non-Binary Teens by Stephanie Brill and Lisa Kenney
This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids by Danielle Owens-Reid and Kristin Russo
- KELY support
- Mind HK
- Young Minds: mental health support for children and young people
- Hong Kong Free Press guide to mental health services in HK
- Mastering exam anxiety - relaxation techniques
- Support for Anxiety
- Student Health Service, HK Health Department
- Cyber Safety / Managing Screen Time and Online Behaviour
Screen Time: www.commonsensemedia.org/articles/screen-time
Social Media: www.commonsensemedia.org/articles/social-media
Online Safety: www.commonsensemedia.org/articles/online-safety
- Character Strengths
- 5 Love Language Quiz for Children