Cork school to open dedicated student counselling centre

A top Cork City secondary school today opens a new pastoral care centre for its 1,000-plus students, providing counselling for everything from third-level courses to family breakdowns.

The facility, located in a newly refurbished premises at Christ King Girls’ secondary School on South Douglas Rd, will be officially opened at 12pm by Sr Sheila Kelleher, provincial leader of the Presentation Sisters.

The centre cost €140,000 and took two years to renovate. It will be named Sunview after Sunview House where the Christ King school was founded some 50 years ago.

The facility houses an art therapy room and a communal meeting room and will later incorporate a communal garden. The building will be used for student counselling — from career guidance and third-level subject choice to the school’s successful Seedlings programme.

Counselling is provided by the school’s two guidance counsellors to students experiencing loss through bereavement or parental separation, or suffering mental health issues such as anxiety or depression.

“The new centre is housed in the original building provided by the Presentation Sisters 30 years ago and has been refurbished with a grant from the Department of Education,” said school principal Mary Keane.

All students are invited to avail of the Seedlings programme which has been running in the school for about 10 years, she said.

“When they choose to avail of this programme, it means they know they need support,” said Ms Keane.

The programme had proven to be a “remarkable resource” which addresses both the spiritual and emotional issues of the students and, in turn, enabled them to realise their full academic potential, she added.


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