ProPsych is an initiative of Paula Teggelove. After 18 years in the education sector, as an educator and school psychologist, Paula has a particular interest in school processes and how the growing need to address the mental illness from an early age can be facilitated by, and in, schools. The well-being needs of young people are increasingly complex and schools are uniquely placed to provide an enormous amount of well-being support. Paula believes that school psychologists & counsellors are ideally placed to provide much of the additional support for young peoples’ emotional and mental health, both on an individual basis and in the knowledge and expertise they bring to the entire school community. Equally, educators are in a pivotal role; they have direct contact with students every single day and occupy a unique and privileged part in the lives of our young people.
The ProPsych Approach
Propsych offers specialised, targeted PD for school personnel on topics related to mental health in young people. Our conferences and workshops are carefully crafted and specifically developed to provide the most up to date information and research, including very practical strategies and ideas that delegates can take back to, and work with in their schools. But ultimately, our events are designed to extend and challenge; appreciating the complexity of mental illness and wellbeing issues, Propsych urges and inspires staff to think beyond simple and generic strategies, to create a long term and evolving approach to mental health for their own unique school.
School psychologists, counsellors and other welfare staff provide an important safety net within schools to assist students in need of specialised assistance with individual issues. In addition, they are a great resource for teachers and other school staff who also care for the overall wellbeing of their students.
Propsych’s passion for, and loyalty towards, the school psychology profession results from seeing the positive effects that school psychologists make, not only to students and their families, but the whole school community. The need for a common understanding, respect and partnership between the psychological and educational community is at the forefront of Propsych’s work within schools.
All School Staff
The last decade has seen almost a complete transformation in our understanding of mental illness. Research suggests that one in five adolescents experience depression by the time they reach 18 years of age. Over 75% of mental health problems occur before the age of 25. One in seven (14%) of young people aged 4 to 17 years experience a mental health condition in any given year. Suicide is the biggest killer of young people in Australia. And disturbingly, young people remain less likely than any other age group to seek professional help.
All school staff have a vital role to play in the mental health of young people; awareness of warning signs, how to talk to a young person experiencing a mental illness or early symptoms, and how and where to direct students for assistance. Propsych adjusted its vision years ago to include mental health professional development to all school staff.