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Effectiveness of Online Platforms in Enhancing Counselling Services in Schools

Project Type: Practitioner Inquiry
Discipline: Counselling
Duration: 07/2014 - 07/2015
Domain: Digital Literacies

Abstract:


Counselling.jpg

This study is conducted in a high-ability all-girls’ Secondary School where counselling services are provided. Since 2008, every school in Singapore is staffed with at least one full-time counsellor to work with students exhibiting high-risk behaviours like delinquency, substance abuse or other problematic behaviours. However, most students approach a school counsellor for help only as a last resort, because of the inaccessibility of the counselling service and the stigma of counselling amongst adolescents.

Studies have shown that the use of social media and online platforms have positive benefits on supporting counselling services and promoting young people’s well-being. This paper explores how the use of social media (Facebook, Twitter and Ask.fm) and online platforms (website, online calendar and online appointment booking system) can enhance counselling services in the school. The study focuses on: (1) the accessibility of counselling services through the use of online platforms; (2) the reduction of stigma in counselling through the use of social media, and (3) the effectiveness of social media in providing counselling resources to students seeking help.

This study uses primarily qualitative analysis based on in-depth interviews as well as analysis of students’ written feedback given through social media. The interviews were conducted with a sample of 15 female students aged 14 to 16 years old. Trend data on the number of counselling cases and self-referrals in the school from 2012 – 2014 was also analysed to triangulate the data.

The research findings show that social media and online platforms effectively enhanced counselling services in the school, and should be utilised as a complementary tool to face-to-face sessions. The research findings also highlight the importance of social media and online platforms in re-defining the traditional role and outlook of school counsellors.

Research Personnel:


Role
Name
Department
Investigator
Ms Michelle Koay
Student Development
AdvisorMs Masturah Abdul Aziz
PeRL

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