The counselling team at Nexus Singapore works to boost the mental health and wellbeing of the school community. Here, they talk through how they aim to provide mental health support through interesting and innovative activities.
Breaking stereotypes of school counselling
When people think of a school counsellor, they often think of a person in a small office, helping students who are having problems. At Nexus, counsellors extend beyond this expectation.
The school says it believes that a person unbothered by problems and issues will learn far more effectively, as they’re able to concentrate on the important things. Good mental health and wellbeing boosts a learner’s ability to thrive academically, socially and personally in the long run.
This, they add, is backed by extensive research. Positive emotions flood our brains with dopamine and serotonin, making us not only feel good, but also improving our memory and ability to learn.
Holistic activities and programmes for mental health support
Nexus has always taken a holistic approach to education. One way is by tending to the overall mental health and wellbeing of a child beyond academics.
“I firmly believe that our mission extends beyond traditional counselling,” says ZANTHE NG, the school’s Senior Counsellor. “Our ultimate goal is to foster the holistic wellbeing of our learners. By transcending conventional notions of counselling, we can explore innovative approaches to nurture individuals in every aspect of their lives.”
The counselling team at Nexus Singapore works in line with the school’s drive towards rewriting standard educational practices through interesting and innovative activities that provide mental health support. One example is the animal therapy programme introduced in the last academic year. Learners were visited by therapy horses and caring canines during the school’s Wellbeing Week in 2023. The dogs were returning as repeat visitors to facilitate reading sessions with learners.
There are also more regular activities that the Nexus Singapore counsellors host. These include mindful eating, sound bathing, group counselling, friendship building lunches and more.
The team has also launched a peer support programme within the upper secondary. Learners are trained, by the counsellors, to be listening ears for other learners who feel more comfortable speaking with those closer in age. They also worked closely with a group of learners in the Coding Club to develop an app that provides wellbeing resources to other learners.
About Zanthe and the Nexus Singapore Counselling Team
Zanthe says she transitioned into the education sector with a mission to bring high-level professional counselling to younger people.
She previously ran a practice dealing mainly with adults in their mental health and wellbeing. From there, she gained valuable insights into the origins of many issues that can be traced back to their formative years. This realisation prompted her to refocus her efforts towards working with children and youths. She aims to make a meaningful impact with mental health support during this critical period when neural pathways are still undergoing development.
The Nexus Counselling Team uses an integrated Care Model with four pillars: Preventive Care, Developmental Care, Interventive Care and Continuity of Care. This model oversees the full spectrum of learner mental health and wellbeing. It includes education that raises awareness for things like substance abuse prevention, anti-bullying and responsible digital citizenship; children’s mental health support for major transitions like shifting into Nexus or the transition from Primary to Secondary; various forms of therapy; and even collaborations with external providers.
This article first appeared in the December 2023 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe so you never miss a copy!
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