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What is School Counselling?


COUNSELLING IS ABOUT CONNECTION.  Counselling is a space where people are seen and heard through the creation of a safe and collaborative relationship guided by empathy and nonjudgement.​

COUNSELLING IS ABOUT SELF-WORTH. Counselling serves to uphold the confidence and dignity of all people by holding space and honoring stories and experiences.

COUNSELLING IS ABOUT EMPOWERMENT. Counselling reflects the strength and power within each of us, and facilitates sustainable change that comes from self-awareness, growth, and worth.

Counselling is about you!  We will ask you questions to try to help find out what is going on for you and/ or determine activities that may work to support you. As a student, you can choose to answer, not answer, pause, take a break, or end the session(s) whenever you feel ready to do so.

When we meet, you have a say in what that looks like... sometimes we'll give you ideas or ask questions to help the process... this makes sure we spend our time together helping to support your needs or changes you need to make.

Counselling can be emotional and thought-provoking... it can bring up a lot of "stuff", so it's good to know that it's up to you what you share, when you share, and how you share it. In sharing personal information, it can be hard and it is important to know that those emotions are sometimes a part of the process. On the flip side, we hope by you sharing your thoughts and feelings, it can help you feel better or work towards changes you want to make. These are the good parts and tricky parts of counselling.

In an elementary school setting our counselling usually centres on the following areas, in a trauma informed manner:

  • Self-regulation strategies
  • Emotional support/understanding feelings
  • Conflict resolution strategies/relaxation and chill out tools
  • Building healthy relationships with self and others
  • Understanding the relationship between thoughts and feelings – helpful and unhelpful thinking
  • Anxiety awareness and strategies for coping in an optimal manner

School counsellors are referral based, we are not able to diagnose mental health conditions, treat or cure these conditions - we support students. Considering this, we will do our best to work with students to determine a best fit when we think or feel a student may need further services beyond our scope of practice. We often refer students to a Child & Youth Mental Health Clinician at the Ministry of Children and Family Development or Salmo/Nelson Community Services when a student needs services that are more than we can offer.

Students conversations with counsellors are confidential and private. This means if you're talking about your thoughts, emotions, peer/sibling/parent conflict, et cetera then the conversation stays in the room, between the student and the counsellor. Sometimes, we might think it's a good idea to share some of your thoughts and feelings with others (parents, siblings, friends, doctors, teachers).

Further, if a student discloses information about hurting themselves, hurting someone else, or any kind of abuse then, as counsellors, we have a duty to report this information and it can no longer stay confidential. If a student reports this information about another student or anyone else under the age of 18 we also have to report that and can't keep it confidential. If a student reports directly or indirectly information about harm to self, harm to others, or any abuse or any information that warrants involvement by other parties we have a duty to report this information. This is probably our least favourite part of the job; however, we recognize it as an important step to help students and families receive the appropriate supports they need during a potentially difficult time.

If you have reason to believe a child is in need of protection, anyone can call 1-800-663-9122 any time of day or night. If a child is in immediate danger, please call 9-1-1

If a child or youth would like to talk to someone, the Helpline for Children number is 310-1234 (you do not need an area code). You can call any time day or night and you do not have to give your name.



SES Counsellor:  Kathy Speirs

Salmo Community Resource Society - a plethora of services for children, youth, and their families in Salmo (250-357-2277) |

Ministry of Children & Family Development - Nelson Office, 308- 310 Ward St., 250-354-6139

Salmo RCMP:  250- 357-2212 

Freedom Quest Youth Services Society - River Jones, Counsellor

Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital, Trail     250-368-3311



Kids Help Phone  1-800-668-6868 (Text CONNECT to 686868) or chat online

BC (Interior) Crisis Lines

24 hour crisis support line - youth in BC

Metis Crisis Line & Resources   1-833-638-4722



Kelty Mental Health

Kelty Mental Health Tool

Salmo Community Resources Society

Indigenous Child & Family Development