A new handbook for school psychologists is the first of its kind to be published in Australia.
Published by Springer, the handbook titled Handbook of Australian School Psychology has been created to support psychologists working in a school environment.
It features chapters on bullying, emotional learning, depression, suicide, anxiety, poverty and a ground-breaking chapter regarding working with students in remote Indigenous communities.
“It is going to have quite an impact,” says co-editor of the book and senior lecturer in Swinburne’s Department of Psychological Sciences Dr Monica Thielking.
“If a child is experiencing mental health issues, then they won’t learn as well as they could and this is part of ensuring that kids have access to evidence-based therapies and approaches that ensure they do well.”
The book covers a range of psychological roles in schools, whether they be working directly with students, with groups, with the whole school or working with groups of schools.
Dr Thielking coordinated and edited contributions from over 100 leaders in their field, from Australia and abroad.
As part of the Student Wellbeing Project, Dr Thielking travelled around Australia speaking to student wellbeing experts to source content for the book.
While in the Northern Territory and Western Australia, she says she discovered some amazing school psychologists working with remote Indigenous communities.
Dr Thielking hopes to equip psychologists who are thinking about working in these areas with the knowledge of what to expect and what they need to work successfully.
“When we think about closing the gap and all of the mental health issues that impact these students in these remote areas, it’s pretty bad. Mental health, health, early school leaving, all sorts of issues – it’s actually quite surprising that we don’t have more people in these areas.”
Handbook of Australian School Psychology: Integrating International Research, Practice, and Policy is available now.