Psychological Services staff provide supports to students who are experiencing mental health, learning, developmental, social or behavioural difficulties that can affect them within a school setting. Services are offered for students in both elementary and secondary schools. The goal of Psychological Services is to enhance a student's ability to access the curriculum or programs and resources within the DDSB.
- Clinical Consultation, which can be offered to
- parents and/or guardians,
- educational staff,
- other DDSB professional services staff and/or community partners.
- Direct Services which can be offered to students and include clinical interventions, counselling and/or brief therapy with individual students or groups of students.
- Psychological Assessments which can include: clinical assessments, behavioral assessments, psychological assessments, social assessments and/or developmental assessments.
- Crisis Response for incidents related to violence, suicidal risk, tragic events and/or traumatic incidents; services are consistent with DDSB protocols on Violence/Threat Risk Assessment (VTRA), Suicide Prevention and Intervention, Crisis and Loss and Trauma Response, and are prioritized to support students and schools.
- Capacity Building which seeks to assist in the professional growth of DDSB staff through direct training, committee work, support of school initiatives, and/or individual teacher consultation.
Consent and Privacy
Services provided by staff in Psychological Services are regulated by the best practice guidelines of the College of Psychologists of Ontario. Services are offered only with the informed consent of the appropriate parties involved (e.g., parent/guardian, capable student).
All Psychological Services staff are governed by regulations set out by the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). As such, staff collect only information that is needed to provide services for which consent has been granted.
All personnel are trained in the need for privacy and confidentiality: personal information is not disclosed without knowledge and/or expressed consent.
Under law, however, exceptions exist to this rule, e.g.,
- circumstances that indicate the possibility of abuse,
- when there is risk of harm to self or others,
- a court issues a subpoena.
Access to Psychological Services
If you are concerned about your child's learning, mental health, social development or behavioural functioning, you are encouraged to speak with your child's teacher or Principal. School staff may then consult with Psychological Services staff to decide whether a referral would be helpful (the student's name is not used at this point). Following this, the school may ask you to sign a Consent for Service form. Thereafter, you will be contacted by Psychological Services staff to review the services requested and to ensure that you have been given information to allow you to consent for services to proceed.
NOTE: students also can directly request to speak to Psychological Services staff, provided that they have the capacity to understand the nature of the services requested and can provide informed consent.
For More Information:
If you would like further information about Psychological Services, please contact either:
- your child's school Principal;
- Special Education Resource Teacher (SERT) (elementary);
- Head of Special Education (secondary);
- Head of Guidance (secondary);
- Psychological Services staff assigned to your school or;
- Chief Psychologist, Dr. S. Graffi at the DDSB Education Centre, 905-666-5500