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Webinar Announcement

Coping with Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Supporting the Mental Health of International Communities Affected by the Outbreak

March 17, 2020 7:00-8:00am U.S. Central Standard Time

People living in international communities are disproportionately affected by the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The risk to public health has resulted in the separation of families, emergency evacuations, quarantine, restrictions of travel and the closure of schools. This emergency is extraordinarily stressful, particularly for people who have a previous history of problems related to managing anxiety and other mood disorders. School counselors are being called upon to support communities affected by the virus, and students, faculty and administration are relying on their expertise to respond to the mental health needs of the community.

This webinar will address the mental health problems associated with the outbreak. We will talk about ways to respond to community needs in ways that are measured, thoughtful and stabilizing. Additionally, we will talk about the effect that this emergency has on caregivers themselves, and ways that counselors can work to ensure their own emotional wellbeing.

When: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 @ 7:00am - 8:00am U.S. Central Time (Convert to your time zone here)

Who: Dr. Sean Truman, this year's ISCA Conference Keynote Speaker, is a graduate of Reed College where he majored in Psychology, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Connecticut, and was a National Institute of Mental Health Fellow at the Yale University School of Medicine where he worked both at the Child Study Center and in the Department of Psychiatry. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Truman has worked as both a researcher and a professor of undergraduates and graduate students in Psychology.

In addition to his private practice, Dr. Truman is the founder of the Truman Group, a practice that provides mental health care to English speaking expatriates living overseas.

If you are not able to attend the webinar at the scheduled time, we will be recording the presentation.  To receive a link to the recorded webinar after March 17th, you will need to register at the link below. Please contact us at info@iscainfo.com if you have any questions. 

Register NOW

Resources to Support Your Community During Covid-19 (Novel Coronavirus)

With growing concerns related to Covid-19 (Novel Coronavirus), schools around the world are facing long and short term closures and have opened online learning environments, which can cause stress and anxiety for our students, parents and fellow staff members. We also understand there are many schools that remain open, but are preparing plans should they need to close. With our focus on student mental health and well-being, especially during this difficult time, the need to proactively communicate with parents and to provide strategies and suggestions to our families and community remain a top priority.  

The International School Counselor Association (ISCA) Task Force has compiled the following resources which we hope will be useful to you and your school during this challenging and stressful time. 


  • A sample letter to parents which gives parents strategies to build resilience and have reassuring conversations with their child(ren). You can use or modify this document to fit your school's needs: Sample letter to parents.
  • A list of resources around feelings, fears and worries. Many are related specifically to the Coronavirus and some are about anxiety more generally. We’ve also included a couple of mindfulness websites, videos and visuals that are great to help kids find a bit of peace in these unsettling times: Resources for parents and educators.
  • Check out our website for important resources for Online Counseling and remember to take care of yourself. A few weeks ago we created a new page dedicated to Self Care for Caregivers with useful articles and tips.
  • This valuable resource from International School Services (ISS) is a "snapshot of the recent work of many schools and individuals in regards to policy, technical operations, teaching and learning and community wellness": Online Learning: a Strategic Approach for K-12 Schools.

Please let us know how we can support you during these times.  If you have other resources that would like for us to post please email us at info@iscainfo.com. 

International School Counseling Week! February 10-14, 2020

How can you celebrate? 

  • Photo Challenge Take a photo/video of the theme "Together, We're Stronger" and share on Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram with #ISCACelebrates. Get students, families and school colleagues in on the fun.
  • Display the poster in and around your counseling offices and share with your colleagues the great work you are doing! 
  • Invite faculty members to your office to enjoy a cookie and a chat!


ISCA Scope & Sequence for the Core Counseling Curriculum 

Here you will find two new versions of the ISCA Scope and Sequence. A full article on the Scope and Sequence can be read here. 
  • Master - includes a simple chart that includes the topics, objectives, CASEL competencies addressed and ISCA Standards.
  • Planning Document - This document includes the same information as the Master however the column on the far right is blank. This space can be used by you and your team as a planning document. You can fill in lessons you already run, ideas for new lessons or timing, etc. Essentially, it is a space for you to document or plan your Curriculum while using the S&S.
  • Our previous “Pilot" version included a section called "Possible Lessons and Resources". We will be adding to this version and publishing it within the new interactive ISCA Model which will publish in January 2020. As it stands now it is incomplete therefore we have decided to pull it from our website to develop further.
ISCA would like to extend its sincere appreciation to the authors of the of the Scope and Sequence who graciously contributed their time, passion and expertise to its creation. Specifically, Kathryn Manu, Heather DeVore, Brooke Fezler, and the ISCA Taskforce, as well as the many counselors who piloted and contributed their feedback through surveys and conference workshops from March 2016-May 2019.


International School Counseling Week! February 3-8, 2019

February 3-8th, 2019 we are celebrating the 1st International School Counseling Week.

How can you celebrate?

  • Print this poster and take a photo with your counseling team and post it on our Facebook page or on Twitter using @ISCACounselors #ISCAcelebrates.

  • Display this poster in and around your counseling offices and share with your colleagues the great work you are doing! 
  • Invite faculty members to your office to enjoy some hot chocolate and a chat!
  • Become a member of ISCA this week and join our community of over 500 counselors around the world and start accessing resources and our community instantly.

"13 Reasons Why" Season 1 Resources

Here is a list of the primary concerns from Dr. Poland regarding 13 Reasons Why. Please review this list especially as Season 2 is set to launch May 18, 2018. Updated: May 9, 2018.

Webinar: Responding to “13 Reasons Why”, Recommendations for International School Counselors with Dr. Poland.

Go here for the 1-hour recording of the 2017 webinar. Here is the presentation by Dr. Poland from the webinar.
Recommended Suicide Prevention Programs/Curriculum
Recommended Websites on Suicide Prevention
Important points from the webinar
  • Update the list of resources of mental health services in your area.
    • Know what is available (hotlines, therapists, etc) in your community. Have easy access to this information.
  • Know the laws regarding suicide in your country. Is it considered an illegal act in the country where you are living?
  • Establish a suicide prevention team at your school. Conduct regular trainings with staff, parents and include curriculum for students. (Suggestion: Use this webinar as a starting point for conversations with counselors and administration. It would be a great way to spend a professional development day.)
  • There is a  strong association between bullying and suicide. Particularly with LGBT youth.
  • We need to spell out what it means when you say “vulnerable youth” should not watch the program.
  • Nothing about this program should EVER be shown in schools.
  • We need carefully plan units on youth suicide in classroom size groups or smaller. Do not discuss suicide in an assembly format. It does not allow for conversation or for students to ask questions.
  • Teachers need to have the facts. Provide teachers will “talking points” or a script. For example:  Mental health treatment 9 out of 10 who die by suicide are mentally ill. There are alternatives. No single thing is responsible for suicide. Bullying alone does not cause a suicide. Classroom discussion should stress to students what they do when they have a concern about suicide.
  • Counselors need to ask direct questions. Mr. Porter should have asked:
    • Hannah, are you thinking you don’t want to live?
    • Are you thinking of suicide?
    • Plan: Do you have a plan or method in mind?
    • Prior: Have you ever attempted suicide before
  • Notify parents immediately.

Professional Development

Join ISCA today to continue to be apart of these conversations and have access to more resources, as well as stay up-to-date about the 2019 ISCA Conference, March 14-16, 2018, in Brussels, Belgium.

Dr. Poland will be presenting as part of the ISCA-AAIE Summer Institute at Nova Southeastern University, June 25-28, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Register is still open:  click here for more information

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