After working as a classroom teacher and then taking on relief teaching work, Judi took her qualifications in psychology and counselling and started her own business in children’s counselling. “I wanted to focus on children because I feel like sometimes children’s mental health issues are downplayed,” Judi says.
But mental health issues at a young age can affect a child’s life forever. “Mental health issues in a child’s formative years can be a huge impact on their life,” she says. “It can affect their studies, their friendships, and most of all their confidence and self-esteem.”
Tough and rewarding counselling work
Work as a children’s counsellor can be tough but rewarding. Judi’s favourite moments are when a child’s mental health problems can be expressed to their parents and the family as a whole unites to help each other.
“It is such a great thing when I can help a family work together to support one another,” Judi says. “It really is the best situation for the child, to have their issues heard by their parents and to have that parental support. I think it makes all the difference.”
Children need more self-esteem
Teachers, children’s counsellors and guidance officers all have an important role in assisting children and youth with mental health. Part of this task is often starting a student on the path to improved self-esteem and confidence in their life journey.
“I've seen that over and over again,” Judi says. “We help children and youth be independent. You help someone on their journey, and you may never see them again. They walk away with their heads up. That's success to me, living and doing the best we possibly can for each other.”
Making a difference as a teacher and counsellor
“Somewhere, you know, you put a drop of good into the world, and the drop causes ripples that grow bigger. That's what I think is the most satisfying thing about teaching and counselling.”