Counseling Services

  • Derry Township School District knows that mental health is especially important during times of uncertainty. As we proceed with online learning for some students, DTSD wants to continue assisting students and their families. To that end, the student services team at DTSD would like to introduce you to our process and protocols for connecting with students and families online. What follows are benefits and limits with virtual counseling.

    Virtual Counseling Structure

    Please understand that while the student services team at DTSD will be doing everything it can to keep the discussions confidential, there is always the possibility that someone else might overhear the conversation. In the worst-case scenario, someone might “hack” into the counseling session. While this is unlikely to occur because each session requires a Meeting ID and Password, it is still a possibility. What is more likely to occur is that someone else may overhear the conversation. The most common way that this can happen is by someone leaving a door open or the area you are in is not soundproof enough to prevent voices from being heard by others around. For this reason, each participant is encouraged to wear earbuds or earphones throughout the discussion. Given the confidential nature of the conversations that may take place neither the staff member, nor student/family is permitted to video or audio record the counseling session.

    Additionally, all the other basic rules of safety apply online as it does in person. As always, if anyone says something that leads the staff member to believe that the student is going to hurt her/himself or is being harmed by someone else, then that information must be shared with other responsible adults and administration to ensure that harm does not occur. This is called mandated reporting and all members of our student services team are mandated reporters.

    Finally, at the beginning of any conversation, a member of the student services team will go over these points and will ask for your verbal agreement to participate, along with your understanding of these limitations. That will provide evidence that you understand what is about to occur online. While all of this may seem unnecessary, we want to do everything we can to make certain that everyone understands the limits of virtual conversation and that everyone is safe as possible during this time of social distancing.

    If your child is experiencing depression, stress, anxiety, self-esteem, anger, relationship issues, grief, or other social or mental health concerns our school counseling and school psychology departments are here to help.

    To schedule an individual 30-minute appointment, send an email to your school counselor or school psychologist. Your school counselor or school psychologist will return your email to schedule a specific time and date for your appointment.