Counseling K-12

The K-12 Counseling Department strives to provide several different services to our students.  Counselors attempt to assist our students with academics, career development, and social emotional concerns.  Counselors work closely with parents, teachers, and administration to make each child successful as they are provided education at Perkiomen Valley.
 
Students and parents are encouraged to reach out to their counselors with any concerns.  Each elementary school has two counselors.  Each middle school has three counselors divided by last name (at East Middle School) or grade level (at West Middle School), along with a group/career counselor.  The high school has seven counselors.

CYBERBULLYING

With the rise of social media, smart phones and other technological advances that make it easy for information to spread quickly, the issue of cyberbullying has come to the forefront as an area of concern for young people. Perkiomen Valley School District addresses this issue in a number of ways – for example, through classroom instruction focused upon digital literacy and through special presentations with speakers like John Halligan. Below are some links to organizations that can provide you with additional information about this topic.

GRIEF & LOSS

It is not always easy to know how to help children and adolescents cope with grief or loss. 

We have compiled some resources below that might assist 

heart in a hug

you with this topic. Of course, if your child is struggling we hope you will also consider reaching out to any of the counselors or accessing the Student Assistance Programs available in your child’s building. Please read below for information from the National Association of School Psychologists on grief. You can access the full tip sheet that this information came from under the “Articles and Tip Sheets” section below.

 
GRIEF REACTIONS 
 
There is no right or wrong way to react to a loss. No two individuals will react in exactly the same way. Grief reactions among children and adolescents are influenced by their developmental level, personal characteristics, mental health, family and cultural influences, and previous exposure to crisis, death, and loss. However, some general trends exist that can help adults understand typical and atypical reactions of bereaved children. Sadness, confusion, and anxiety are among the most common grief responses and are likely to occur for children of all ages.  The following behaviors may warrant further attention: 
 
Preschool Level
  • Decreased verbalization
  • Increased anxiety (e.g., clinginess, fear of separation)
  • Regressive behaviors (e.g., bedwetting, thumb sucking)
Elementary School Level
  • Difficulty concentrating or inattention
  • Somatic complaints (e.g., headaches, stomach problems)
  • Sleep disturbances (e.g., nightmares, fear of the dark)
  • Repeated telling and acting out of the event
  • Withdrawal
  • Increased irritability, disruptive behavior, or aggressive behavior
  • Increased anxiety (e.g., clinging, whining)
  • Depression, guilt, or anger
Middle and High School Level
  • Flashbacks
  • Emotional numbing or depression
  • Nightmares
  • Avoidance or withdrawal
  • Peer relationship problems
  • Substance abuse or other high-risk behavior
LOCAL AGENCIES & HOTLINES
 
An agency focusing on grieving children and families 
3847 Skippack Pike
P.O. Box 1299
Skippack, PA 19474
Phone: 610-222-4110
 

Montgomery County Mobile Crisis Support Line: 1-855-634-HOPE

  • 24 hour telephone counseling
  • Services provided in the individual’s home
  • Assistance with developing strategies for reducing recurring crisis
  • Support for drug/alcohol use or addiction
  • Help coping with past traumatic experiences
  • Emergency respite
  • Peer support
Montgomery County Children’s Crisis Support Hotline: 888-435-7414
The hotline is available 24-hours a day/7 days a week. They offer telephone and mobile crisis support to children, adolescents (up to 18 years old), and their family members in Montgomery County. A trained crisis support professional will help stabilize the immediate crisis through phone and/or face-to-face contact—and continue to provide support until additional resources can be contacted.
 

Peter’s Place (Radnor)

An agency focusing on grieving children and families 
336 King of Prussia Road
Radnor, PA 19087 
Phone: (610) 687-5150
 
Creative Health Services 
(Not for emergencies, but to find a counselor) 
Deb Donahue
1 Mennonite Church Road 
Spring City, Pa 19475
Phone: 610-948-6490 ext 1520
e-mail: ddonahue@creativehs.org 
 
Coalition to Support Grieving Students
 
CHILDREN’S BOOKS
Tear Soup, Chuck DeKlyen and Pat Schwiebert
The Fall Of Freddie the Leaf, Leo Buscaglia
Invisible String, Patrice Karst
 
ARTICLES AND TIP SHEETS

SUICIDE PREVENTION
The Pennsylvania Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative is a multi-­system collaboration to reduce youth suicide. Youth suicide prevention will be embraced and incorporated into the fabric of every community in Pennsylvania to address the social and emotional needs of youth at risk and survivors of suicide.

Suicide Prevention Resource Center
SPRC is the nation’s only federally supported resource center devoted to advancing the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. They provide technical assistance, training, and materials to increase the knowledge and expertise of suicide prevention practitioners and other professionals serving people at risk for suicide. They also promote collaboration among a variety of organizations that play a role in developing the field of suicide prevention.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has been at the forefront of a wide range of suicide prevention initiatives – each designed to reduce loss of life from suicide. They are investing in groundbreaking research, new educational campaigns, innovative demonstration projects and critical policy work. And they are expanding their assistance to people, whose lives have been affected by suicide, reaching out to offer support and offering opportunities to become involved in prevention.

American Association of Suicidology
AAS is a membership organization for all those involved in suicide prevention and intervention, or touched by suicide. AAS is a leader in the advancement of scientific and programmatic efforts in suicide prevention through research, education and training, the development of standards and resources, and survivor support services.

Services for Teens At Risk (STAR Center)
Services for Teens At Risk (STAR-­Center) is a comprehensive research, treatment, and training center. Funded by the State of Pennsylvania’s General Assembly in 1986 to address adolescent suicide and depression, the program provides individual assessment and treatment to teens that are experiencing depression and suicidality.

The JED Foundation
JED is a national nonprofit that exists to protect emotional health and prevent suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults.

The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.

Montgomery County Emergency Services, Inc. (MCES)
MCES is a private, not-­for-profit, psychiatric hospital in West Norriton, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. MCES and its talented team of more than 200 professionals provide a range of behavioral health services from its 73-­bed facility. For more than 35 years, MCES has been building better tomorrows throughout the Delaware Valley by providing critical behavioral health services for individuals, families, and organizations. Its services include inpatient program, outpatient program, crisis residential program, criminal justice program, crisis intervention, suicide intervention.

Montgomery County Suicide Prevention Taskforce
The mission of the Montgomery County Suicide Prevention Taskforce is to develop and implement strategies to reduce the risk of suicide in Montgomery County through the collaborative efforts of community agencies and service providers.

More Than Sad Program
The More Than Sad Program of the American Foundation for Suicide prevention provides education about factors that put youth at risk for suicide, in particular depression and other mental disorders.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States. The Lifeline is comprised of a national network of over 160 local crisis centers, combining custom local care and resources with national standards and best practices.

TEEN SUICIDE AND THE NETFLIX SERIES “13 REASONS WHY”

Teen suicide is one of the primary themes of the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” and has proved a popular program among teens. Please read on for more information about this drama and the impact it is having on viewers.

“Netflix Triggers Online Debate with a Show about Teen Suicide, ’13 Reason Why,'”
New York Times, April 19, 2017

Column: Local Suicide Prevention Experts, Educators Question ’13 Reasons Why”
Chicago Tribune, April 21, 2017

“13 Reasons Why: What Viewers Should Consider”
The Jed Foundation, April 24, 2017

SUBSTANCE ABUSE

Perkiomen Valley School District has partnered with Be a Part of the Conversation to offer resources for talking with their children about substance abuse.  Visit their website forinformation and to learn of upcoming parent sessions.