School Counseling

Meet Mr. Ward

Hello, families of St. Catherine’s!

My name is Kevin Ward, and I am your student’s school counselor. After spending the past three years in Chicago, where I received my MEd from DePaul University, I am back home in the PNW. Before moving to Chicago, I attended Gonzaga University, (Go Zags), and then volunteered for a year in the Boston Public Schools through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. I am a big believer in Catholic education and the value of mental healthcare, social/emotional learning, and strong community.

What is the role of a school counselor?

I am grateful for the opportunity to be here full-time as St. Catherine’s school counselor. Through this opportunity, I am able to offer a comprehensive school counseling program to all students at St. Catherine’s. This program will be driven by student data and include a multitude of interventions regarding the student’s development in three domains: social/emotional, academic, and college/career. Students will see me in the classroom teaching lessons that fall into these three domains, leading small groups, and meeting with students on an individual basis when needed, (as well as on the playground every day!). I have an open door policy for any student who needs a quiet space to vent, work out conflict, reflect, or simply take some time for themselves.

Mental health is something we all need to care for. Even when we feel our best, it is important to exercise our brain and care for our well-being. Teaching students the value of this at a young age is highly beneficial. Please feel free to contact me with anything regarding your students’ mental and emotional health within the context of their academic success and social/emotional development. My office is located straight through the door to the main office.

Email: kward@stcatherineschool.net

Counseling Connection... From Home!

While we march onward through COVID, this will be the place I post daily reflection prompts, activities and games to play at home, and other counseling tid-bit. Let's jump into it and make connections from home! Make sure to scroll down to see mindfulness bedtime stories, games to play at home, and more. 

Want to check-in with Mr. Ward? Email anytime to set up a Zoom call. It is especially important right now that we rely on our community. Know that I am here for any problem, big or small, and am more than happy to talk. Just like it would be at school. ** If you need immediate help for you or a loved one, scroll down to find multiple links and phone numbers to find you help. All resources keep your information confidential and are safe to use.  

Reflections: 

I have started to make my reflections into video format! Follow the links below to connect via video, and share with other families and friendsMake a video of your own, draw a picture, take a picture, sing a song, do a dance, connect with myself and with others on the Padlet as well!

Looking for something peaceful to reflect to? Missing the great outdoors? Think outside the box and watch these animal live stream videos!

https://www.adventure-journal.com/2020/03/if-youre-stuck-inside-might-as-well-enjoy-this-list-of-animal-cams/?fbclid=IwAR0Y5z1HMIxooQ6CqjShL2sOAqMm5shoky4FPQwZVlA69P5i8ElAGnzsM-Y

Resources for Parents (you're doing a GREAT job!):

- Tips to Start the School year Off Right: file:///C:/Users/kward/Desktop/Corona-Cats%2020-21/Tips%20to%20Start%20School%20Year.pdf

https://bedtime.fm/peaceout -> Mindfulness bedtime stories! 

- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0P3Deuv8tbc -> Mindful Walking. Don't neglect your emotions and feelings. Take time everyday to help your kids get in tune with themselves. It will increase happiness in the home! 

 

- "Parenting Through Covid-19" from UW (follow this ginormous 

link):  https://education.uw.edu/news/professor-launches-livestream-series-parenting-through-covid-19?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTmprd1pUZzRNakl4WmpoayIsInQiOiJma2lcLzVQREQyXC9tTHdRcFNpUDA0a0hUSG44MFZQZnMwd0tVOTRZenN5K3JIbCtwRTg1b3NJTE9PRDZ1SEVzRFlyUDlSNFc3MUowVkFUOVJwSGxBK3pucGFhSGFTR3paUFFSQzBDR3lJTE5waFwvQUtrOWY0T21DUmljaEVzem1iOSJ9

- Self-Compassion: It all starts here. Are you being kind to yourself during this pandemic? It is almost impossible to love those around us if we do not feel that we are enough, that we are connected, or that we are deserving of love. Take some time to think about self-compassion at the beginning of each day: 

https://self-compassion.org/

- Helping Kiddos with ADHD https://www.additudemag.com/feeling-depressed-adhd-youth-quarantine/

                              - Explore this website for more help with kiddos who struggle with ADD. For parents and kids who have ADD, Dysgraphia, Dyslexia, Autism, Down syndrome, or anything else, remember that you are never alone, (even in quarantine!), there are so many others' in this with you!

- Wide Open School: https://wideopenschool.org/

TONS of resources for families with topics like scheduling, emotional well-being, activities for home, and more!

- Center for Healthy Minds: https://centerhealthyminds.org/well-being-toolkit-covid19 - Great resources for kids and families to access during this time. 

Flipgrid Lessons:

Self-Compassion: https://flipgrid.com/stcatscounselor

Mindfulness: https://flipgrid.com/mrwardmindfulness

Media Influences and Inspirations during Quarantine: https://flipgrid.com/ward2932

Love Languages: https://flipgrid.com/cb60a7cc

Games and Brain Breaks:

These games are brought to you by an organization I worked for in Boston called Playworks. They rock. Follow the links to learn how to play:

This is a warm-up is called "Shake it Up, Shake it Down." Great to start the day with!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPbyZ096A38

This is a game called "Crack the Code."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FljuNtVc_-g&feature=youtu.be&mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTXpsaU5Ea3dZalZqT0dFMSIsInQiOiJ1UElXblwvRzVudENFT2F3emxvcFF5a1dqUlpUb2V0XC8yS2dIa1pWeG0zXC95ajgyTzFlK1BTbkFpVXJkK1Fwd2RQQWE1MFdTK3VtcWVEWlFJeWpBVEVMcXhGYXVxcU1zaVhzc1hsa2RkVCtwWGRSdHRNdkNpVnVGVzFFUkE5ckt1RSJ9

This is a game called "Popcorn."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ot40kdLBZhk

This is a game called "One Step Back."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Lzo2Kuw29c

You can find many games like these on Playwork's YouTube Channel, found via the links above. 

Mindfulness, Meditation and Online Therapy: 

 

List of Free Mindfulness Resources: https://www.theawakenetwork.com/free-online-meditation-resources-for-the-time-of-social-distancing/

Abide App: https://abide.co/

 

Headspace App (FREE RIGHT NOW!): https://www.headspace.com/ -> Find them on YouTube as well! https://www.youtube.com/user/Getsomeheadspace

 

REAL Therapy (FREE for one month): https://www.join-real.com/real-to-the-people --> Great for parents, too!

The Art of Living: https://event.us.artofliving.org/us-en/hcp-online-wellness-program/

Coaches for Good: (Half hour, FREE): https://www.coaches4good.org/?fbclid=IwAR1iJTAbLC8VjcJR9fCD6153xDA0LtTAwDAna9U2pdcYRJUPfRxTi1LiZBo

Resources and Printables to help with Home Schooling:

Games, what to do when I'm bored, (with and without siblings!), and daily to-do lists:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1U26PKLsQ-FpPrx3OUzDDkLqK27-fbDhG/view 

Stay at Home Care Package: https://biglifejournal.com/blogs/blog/stay-at-home-printable-pack-families

https://gostrengthsftp.s3.amazonaws.com/Printables/ChallengeJourn_GoZenPrintables.pdf

Activities:

Check it out, the KIND Challenge! Follow this link to look back on the KIND Challenge activities. 

During this time, we can be particularly mindful of how we inspire others towards acts of kindness! If you have any fun pictures of yourself doing an act of kindness, getting fresh air, or creatively exercising your mental health, send them my way! 

Confidentiality

Students are invited to speak openly and honestly in my office space. I tell each student that I will only break confidentiality if they disclose one or more of three things to me:

1) Someone is hurting them. 2) They want to hurt themselves. 3) They want to hurt someone else.  

Click on the link below to view ASCA's position on confidentiality:

Social/Emotional Developmental Stages in Children

Gaining a healthy appreciation for the patterns of social/emotional development of children influences the way we teach, support, and inspire our students and/or children. The mysteries of childhood are endless and beautiful, but still have the ability to leave us frustrated and anxious if we suspect something is awry. More so, we know that each child will develop at his or her own pace. However, It is still important to understand the basic developmental stages of children before we let our worries get the best of us. By watching for these developmental stages, we can change the way we speak, act, and listen to children so that they may thrive to the best of their abilities. 

Below, I have attached social/emotional developmental stages, compiled by counselors at St. Anne's and St. Joe's Schools in Seattle. They are excellent resources to lean on as educators and parents. But remember, these are simply guides and snapshots of development, not answers for everything in your child's life. 

"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believer in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity." 

1 Timothy 4:12

Outside Mental Health Referrals

Getting help from an outside counselor is more common than many people think. If you think that your child could benefit from having someone outside of school to talk to, please do not hesitate to contact mental health professionals. It can feel daunting at first, but the gifts that come from it are worth pursuing. Below, I have complied a list of outside resources for counseling and evaluations to help you get started. 

Monthly Newsletters

Nifty Mental Health Links:

Building Resilience in your kids:

https://www.heysigmund.com/building-resilience-children/

4 Keys to Mental Well-Being:

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/the_four_keys_to_well_being

Transitioning to High School:

http://www.parenttoolkit.com/grade-levels/high-school

Recognizing warning signs of mental illness:

https://www.nami.org/find-support/nami-programs/nami-ending-the-silence

Suicide Prevention Links:

Crisis supports are also available if your student is concerned for themselves or others. Teen Link can be reached daily from 6-10 PM at 1-866-833-6546; the following resources can be reached 24/7 365 days a year: Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255 / Worried about someone on social media? Support on Social Media - Lifeline; the 24-hr Crisis Line:1-866-427-4747; and the Crisis Text Line can be reached via SMS 24/7— simply text “HEAL” to 741-741.

http://www.intheforefront.org/king-county/

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IF YOU REQUIRE IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE AT ANY TIME THE FOLLOWING NUMBERS ARE AVAILABLE RESOURCES:

If you or someone you care about feels overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression or anxiety, or like you want to harm yourself or others call 911.

You can also contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990, the 

                             

OTHER RESOURCES FOR SUPPORT:

RAINN (sexual assault) 800-656-4673 (HOPE) Chat option at rainn.org

1in6 male sexual violence survivor resource (sexual assault): https://1in6.org/  Online Support Groups

You can also contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text MHFA to 741741 to talk to a Crisis Text Line counselor.

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St. Catherine School        
8524 8th Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98115
206.525.0581