Counselling support for the mental health of children in Hong Kong’s international schools during the COVID-19 pandemic: Parents’ perspectives

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Abstract

Objective: This study investigated how school counsellors in international schools in Hong Kong supported the wellbeing of students and families during the period of school closure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic from the perspective of parents.
Method: Sixteen parents with children in eleven different international schools in Hong Kong were interviewed and the data were analysed thematically.
Results: Strong pre-existing relationships, role clarity, and open communication between counsellors and parents were associated with the effective adaptation of counselling services to the changing needs of parents during the school closure period, but these characteristics were often weak or absent.
Conclusions: Parents’ perceptions of counselling during the school closure period provide important feedback that schools can use to build more integrated and responsive support services. Counsellors can support students’ wellbeing more effectively during crises by communicating their roles clearly, building strong relationships with parents, and helping students to maintain a diverse experience in their schooling. Copyright © 2021 Informa UK Limited.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEducational and Developmental Psychologist
Early online date28 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Nov 2021

Citation

Harrison, M. G., Tam, C. K. Y., & Yeung, S. S.-S. (2021). Counselling support for the mental health of children in Hong Kong’s international schools during the COVID-19 pandemic: Parents’ perspectives. Educational and Developmental Psychologist. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/20590776.2021.2001296

Keywords

  • School closure
  • COVID-19
  • School counselling
  • International school
  • Hong Kong

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