By Elizabeth Perzan, MSW, RSW
Editor’s Note: One of the most difficult, yet necessary parts of a therapist’s job is the “Duty to Report.” Our society prioritizes the safety and wellbeing of a child over the privacy and confidentiality of a client. But involving an outside agency based on a suspicion or a deeply personal disclosure is never an easy decision.
It is not up to the therapist to decide whether or not a child is truly at risk. That is a decision made by Child and Family Services and it is well beyond our scope of practice. Reports must be done at the risk of harm to the therapeutic relationship because there are no other alternatives. No professional wants to be that one person who could have prevented a tragedy, but didn’t because they weren’t sure enough or they wanted to give someone the benefit of the doubt. And the laws are written to prevent those sorts of judgment calls.
Every case where this must occur is challenging for both the client and the therapist. But this article is not about making you scared to say the wrong thing in front of a therapist. It was written with the intention of being fully transparent and helping you to understand more about the guidelines that all helping professionals must adhere to.
We hope this helps.
By Elizabeth Perzan, MSW, RSW
25% of Canadian children are bullied. That’s 1 in 4, and it only accounts for what has been reported.
We all know that the frequency is much higher.
Children that are bullied are more likely to feel sad, alone, and helpless. They often lose interest in their favourite activities, avoid school, and experience disruptions to their sleeping and eating patterns.
It is frustrating and worrisome to witness your child going through these issues while feeling powerless to help them. Many parents blame themselves, get angry at their child for not fighting back, rage against the school system and the perpetrator for causing so much heartache, and experience depressive symptoms (e.g., feelings of worthlessness, irritability, disturbed sleep, heightened anxiety and irritation) as a result.
Is your child being bullied? Here's how you can help.
Today may mark the end of National Bullying Prevention Month, but that doesn't mean our efforts to prevent bullying should end too.
Many children and teenagers have a good idea of what bullying is because they see it every day. Bullying can have detrimental impacts on an individual that can last well into adulthood. For these reasons, along with many others, it is important to talk about bullying in order to aid in its prevention.
Are you starting at a brand-new high school? You're probably feeling excited and nervous (and maybe a little sad that summer is over). Those butterflies in your stomach are natural! Many teenagers tend to feel nervous or scared to start high school because of the new things they are often faced with: teachers, peers, a new school, and maybe even a new community. Moving to a bigger city for school can be an especially overwhelming experience. You may feel lost and confused, lonely and unhappy at times, and you may become preoccupied thinking about your home community, family members, and friends. You may even worry that you will not be able to cope with the new demands, or that you won’t fit in. These kinds of thoughts and feelings are very normal!
Check here periodically for updates from Kelly Mental Health staff.
Check out kellymagazine.ca for recent mental health articles and blog posts.
This blog is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide personal support as an alternative to psychotherapy services. Please note that replies are viewable by the public, and we may take a few days to respond. If you require immediate assistance, please call us during business hours.