Working With Youth in Their Own Environment
Oolagen provides on-site counselling currently at three Toronto high-schools – Marc Garneau, Forest Hill Collegiate, and Parkdale Collegiate. A welcome and valued partner to teachers and guidance counsellors, Oolagen provides walk-in counselling, classroom presentations on adolescent issues (e.g. eating disorders, date rape, etc.) and when appropriate referrals to community based resources. Our hallway rapport with students helps them feel comfortable in approaching our social workers for help.
Our school program makes counselling services available to high-risk under-serviced student populations and when appropriate, their families. We reach students who will not or can not access service through traditional means. Although our focus is underprivileged students and those at risk of leaving school, we are available to the entire school populations and we help kids stay in school.
Social workers' offices are located in the school buildings. Programs and services are modified and adapted to ensure the differences in each school is addressed. Students can receive counselling from social workers by making an appointment, dropping in, or being referred by school personnel. If a student is in crisis, he/she will be seen as soon as possible. In these situations, services will be provided immediately, and if this is not sufficient, the student will be taken or referred to more appropriate resources (e.g. hospital).
Consultation to school staff is another important component of a school-based mental health program. The purpose of this service is to help teachers and guidance counsellors cope with behaviours in the classroom rather than having students removed or expelled from school. Prevention services are developed and provided by staff. Presentations in classrooms on topics such as date rape; group work programs on healthy eating (dealing with anorexia, bulimia); and school-wide programs such as students against drunk driving, are all important parts of the preventive nature of Oolagen's School-Based Services.
|Oolagen delivered 250 consultations with school staff to address problem behaviours in 2009.
More than 300 students and families received on-site counselling.