Guidance counsellors assist students in solving problems related to choosing, planning, adjusting and achieving goals in educational, career, personal, social and spiritual areas. They are available to students in junior and senior high schools.

Counselling Corner

June 01, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians of St. Matthew:

As we begin the month of June, we see the end of the school year approaching. It is possible students are lacking motivation and wondering how to persevere another few weeks. This final newsletter focuses on mental well-being and provides strategies about how to maintain mental wellness. The Healthy Mind Platter, by Siegel and Rock (2011), is a metaphor that can be used, which compares optimal mental health to a nutrition plate of mental activities that we can feed our minds. There are seven activities which have been found to provide nourishment and help strengthen the brain’s internal connections. Having these activities in mind can help you and your child assess which activities are in place, and which are lacking in order to become more motivated, feel better, and experience academic success these final weeks of the year!

God Bless,

Paula Knox

School Counsellor

Parent Newsletter June 1

May 25, 2020

Dear Parents,

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed some beautiful sunshine. It has been great to see people participating in outdoor activities and connecting with friends, while physical distancing. The topic for this week’s newsletter is The Importance of Sleep. Many students in our school district have deviated from their regular sleep schedule over the past few months. This is understandable with so many changes that have been implemented in their lives. Parents can model healthy sleep habits for their children and educate them about the impact that healthy sleep practices can have on their learning and mental health. Please view the attached newsletter for more information.

Have a great week!

God Bless,

Paula Knox

Newsletter- Sleep Parents


May 19, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians of St. Matthew:

I hope you had a restful long weekend and enjoyed some sun! One of the benefits of the pandemic is that family members have been able to spend more time together. While enjoying activities together as a family can bring feelings of joy and connectedness, we can also experience heightened levels of frustration. Parents can be great role models for their children when choosing how to manage feelings of anger. It is helpful to notice when our body’s are getting frustrated or angry and pause, so that we can choose a healthy way to respond. Please view the attached newsletter for some ideas on how to help children and teens cope with anger in the home.

God Bless,

Paula Knox

School Counsellor

Parent Newsletter - Anger

May 11, 2020

Hello Parents and Guardians of St. Matthew:

I hope you enjoyed the weekend and despite the cool weather, were able to enjoy some fresh air. Last week we celebrated mental health awareness in Canada. Students were made aware of the importance of tending to mental health in the same way that they care for their physical health. There is stigma that exists when it comes to seeking help, so I encourage you to have open conversations with your children about the importance of taking care of their mental health and speaking up when things do not feel right.

Learning from home has been an adjustment for students and parents. After many weeks away from traditional school, I hope families are beginning to find a routine that is working. This new routine takes effort on the part of parents and children. Each day is a new day and some days might be better than others. Our teachers are working hard to provide your child with various learning opportunities and are happy to connect with you, should you have any inquiries or concerns. Some students might be finding it difficult to continue to feel motivated. Attached is information about learning from home and strategies to support your children.

Have a great day! God bless,

Paula Knox

Newsletter Online Learning for Parents

May 8, 2020

Mental Health Book Readin K-9

May 5, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians of St. Matthew School:

The first week of May has traditionally been associated with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Mental Health Week. The purpose of this campaign is to raise awareness around the importance of mental health. This year’s theme is ‘social connection’ and how it impacts our mental health. With social distancing measures in place, we might be feeling less connected to family or friends, thus affecting our overall emotional wellness. It is important that we find creative ways to connect with others, as human connection is what makes us happy!

Please take time to discuss some of the ideas with your child on the attached fact sheet shared by the CMHA. Ensure your child is still maintaining contact with a friend and or close family members. Research has shown that even having one good friend can help a child from feeling lonely. Phone calls and video calls are a great way to stay connected with friends and family even if we cannot be in the same room right now. Encourage your child to check out our Instagram page for daily reminders about the importance of tending to our mental health.

Have a great day!

Paula Knox
School Counsellor

CMHA Fact Sheet

April 27, 2020

Hello Parents and Guardians of St. Matthew:

I hope you were able to enjoy some time outside this weekend.

Attached is a newsletter on resilience. Development of resiliency skills contributes to optimal physical and mental health. There are skills that caregivers can model to help children build courage to manage the challenges that COVID-19 has presented. If we help children develop psychological strength during this time, they will become empowered to handle future life adversities.

“On the other side of a storm is the strength that comes from having navigated through it. Raise your sail and begin.”― Gregory S. Williams

Have a wonderful day, and God bless,

Paula Knox

School Counsellor

Resilience Newsletter

April 20, 2020

Hello Parents and Guardians of St. Matthew:

I hope your families had a wonderful Easter. As the reality of COVID 19 continues to impact our lives, we are having to find creative ways to engage in life! Attached is a newsletter on ways to implement happiness in the home. There are proven practices, which contribute to happiness, so this is a great opportunity to give them a try. As we aim to create joy in our homes, it is important to also validate the emotions connected to loss that children/teens are coping with at this time. It is confusing to feel so much at once! Caregivers can play a healthy role in helping young people to know that this is all part of being human and adjusting to change.

Junior High parents, please encourage your children to complete the wellness survey posted in their Health forums, if they have not done so already.

Have a great week!

Mrs. Knox

Science of Happiness

April 06, 2020

Hello Parents of St. Matthew,

Fingers crossed we will get some sunny weather over the Easter Break! Please see attached Counselling Connection Newsletter for information on how you might be able to help your children identify helpful and unhelpful thoughts as they manage the COVID 19 information that comes their way. Our thoughts directly affect our feelings and behaviours. Children might be experiencing more feelings of anger and frustration due to some of the recent changes in their lives. It is important for children/teens to know that they do still have some control over events in their lives and the way they think about them. That being said, all of us are still going to have moments when we are frustrated, as we are adapting to the changes and loss of control over many situations in our lives. This is ok and healthy! Validating all family members feelings is important, as each member will react differently. Involving your children in planning activities over the break will help them to feel a sense of control!

Have a wonderful Easter, this is one spring break we will never forget! 😉

Paula Knox

Counselling Connection Newsletter

March 2020

Dear Parents of St. Matthew Students:

I hope you have had an enjoyable weekend with your families. I have appreciated being able to connect with some of the students and parents of our community over this past week. Please ask you children to check their school email for messages.

This week, I would like to encourage you to consider implementing some mindfulness practices into your child’s day. You might find that there are escalated feelings of anxiety in your family. There is a plethora of information coming at us daily about COVID-19. While this information can be useful, it can also create worry about loved ones, uncertainty about how long we will be disconnected from peers/extracurricular events, and frustration with the sudden changes that have swept our society.

Engaging in mindful practices can allow us to become grounded in the present moment, while giving our mind and body some kind and curious attention. Please see attachment for more information on mindfulness, links to mindful meditations, and some ideas for activities you can implement at home.

I have included some links below for additional support if needed in your home:

www.albertahealthservices.ca

Teens and Mental Health during COVID 19

www.unicef.org

Text For Hope: Supporting Mental Health and Wellness in a Time of Stress and Isolation (Alberta Health)

Connecteen: (For Children 12 and older)

Please let your children know that they are thought of daily by all of our staff.

Paula Knox


March 2020

Dear Parents of Junior High Students:

I hope you have had a restful weekend connecting with your family. It is truly amazing how many changes have taken place over the last week. Although we are slowly adapting, the change in routine and upcoming online learning can be stressful for students and families. During the next few months it will be important for students to look after themselves and attend to their mental health. They are used to connecting to peers and teachers daily, and that connection has taken a drastic change.

Please let your children know that I will be posting weekly wellness information in BrightSpace under their Health class. The mental health/wellness topic for this week is Self-Care. This is a perfect opportunity for parents to model Self Care strategies and to collaborate with children about the importance of scheduling daily self care practices. Please view links below for additional relevant information in the areas of managing wellness during the current COVID situation.

I also invite your children to email me if they would like to set up a phone or face to face session. My email is paula.knox@cssd.ab.ca

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any concerns or inquiries.

Managing Anxiety and Stress

Psychology Works Fact Sheet COVID 19

The New Normal

Division 1 Self Care

Self Care Plan for Younger Children

Mental Health Tips

Counselling Corner

September 2019

My name is Paula Knox. I am the School Counsellor at St. Matthew’s School and am passionate about empowering students to discover their unique strengths. My hope is to reduce mental health stigma and provide resources to students, parents and teachers that will enhance student well being. My role includes supporting students, teachers and families of the community while adhering to high ethical practice and Catholic values. I believe that with the proper supports in place, all students can achieve success. I am available to assist students with any concerns related to:

  • Academic achievement
  • Classroom supports
  • Organizational skills
  • Attendance
  • Attention
  • Self Esteem
  • Sudden life changes
  • Relationships (Family/Peer)
  • Behaviour
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Grief and loss
  • Self identity

For a variety of back to school topics please view the following Alberta Health site:

https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/info/Page2542.aspx

Resources to support Parents in child's mental health journey:

https://www.cmho.org/education-resources/parent-resources/

http://albertahealthservices.ca/amh/Page2716.aspx

Please contact me if you have any inquiries.

Email: Paula.Knox@cssd.ab.ca

Phone: 403-500-2030

Website: www.paulaknoxcounsellor.com

Paula Knox







Guidance & Counselling

Guidance counsellors assist students in solving problems related to choosing, planning, adjusting and achieving goals in educational, career, personal, social and spiritual areas. They are available to students in junior and senior high schools.

Counselling Corner

June 01, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians of St. Matthew:

As we begin the month of June, we see the end of the school year approaching. It is possible students are lacking motivation and wondering how to persevere another few weeks. This final newsletter focuses on mental well-being and provides strategies about how to maintain mental wellness. The Healthy Mind Platter, by Siegel and Rock (2011), is a metaphor that can be used, which compares optimal mental health to a nutrition plate of mental activities that we can feed our minds. There are seven activities which have been found to provide nourishment and help strengthen the brain’s internal connections. Having these activities in mind can help you and your child assess which activities are in place, and which are lacking in order to become more motivated, feel better, and experience academic success these final weeks of the year!

God Bless,

Paula Knox

School Counsellor

Parent Newsletter June 1

May 25, 2020

Dear Parents,

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed some beautiful sunshine. It has been great to see people participating in outdoor activities and connecting with friends, while physical distancing. The topic for this week’s newsletter is The Importance of Sleep. Many students in our school district have deviated from their regular sleep schedule over the past few months. This is understandable with so many changes that have been implemented in their lives. Parents can model healthy sleep habits for their children and educate them about the impact that healthy sleep practices can have on their learning and mental health. Please view the attached newsletter for more information.

Have a great week!

God Bless,

Paula Knox

Newsletter- Sleep Parents


May 19, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians of St. Matthew:

I hope you had a restful long weekend and enjoyed some sun! One of the benefits of the pandemic is that family members have been able to spend more time together. While enjoying activities together as a family can bring feelings of joy and connectedness, we can also experience heightened levels of frustration. Parents can be great role models for their children when choosing how to manage feelings of anger. It is helpful to notice when our body’s are getting frustrated or angry and pause, so that we can choose a healthy way to respond. Please view the attached newsletter for some ideas on how to help children and teens cope with anger in the home.

God Bless,

Paula Knox

School Counsellor

Parent Newsletter - Anger

May 11, 2020

Hello Parents and Guardians of St. Matthew:

I hope you enjoyed the weekend and despite the cool weather, were able to enjoy some fresh air. Last week we celebrated mental health awareness in Canada. Students were made aware of the importance of tending to mental health in the same way that they care for their physical health. There is stigma that exists when it comes to seeking help, so I encourage you to have open conversations with your children about the importance of taking care of their mental health and speaking up when things do not feel right.

Learning from home has been an adjustment for students and parents. After many weeks away from traditional school, I hope families are beginning to find a routine that is working. This new routine takes effort on the part of parents and children. Each day is a new day and some days might be better than others. Our teachers are working hard to provide your child with various learning opportunities and are happy to connect with you, should you have any inquiries or concerns. Some students might be finding it difficult to continue to feel motivated. Attached is information about learning from home and strategies to support your children.

Have a great day! God bless,

Paula Knox

Newsletter Online Learning for Parents

May 8, 2020

Mental Health Book Readin K-9

May 5, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians of St. Matthew School:

The first week of May has traditionally been associated with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Mental Health Week. The purpose of this campaign is to raise awareness around the importance of mental health. This year’s theme is ‘social connection’ and how it impacts our mental health. With social distancing measures in place, we might be feeling less connected to family or friends, thus affecting our overall emotional wellness. It is important that we find creative ways to connect with others, as human connection is what makes us happy!

Please take time to discuss some of the ideas with your child on the attached fact sheet shared by the CMHA. Ensure your child is still maintaining contact with a friend and or close family members. Research has shown that even having one good friend can help a child from feeling lonely. Phone calls and video calls are a great way to stay connected with friends and family even if we cannot be in the same room right now. Encourage your child to check out our Instagram page for daily reminders about the importance of tending to our mental health.

Have a great day!

Paula Knox
School Counsellor

CMHA Fact Sheet

April 27, 2020

Hello Parents and Guardians of St. Matthew:

I hope you were able to enjoy some time outside this weekend.

Attached is a newsletter on resilience. Development of resiliency skills contributes to optimal physical and mental health. There are skills that caregivers can model to help children build courage to manage the challenges that COVID-19 has presented. If we help children develop psychological strength during this time, they will become empowered to handle future life adversities.

“On the other side of a storm is the strength that comes from having navigated through it. Raise your sail and begin.”― Gregory S. Williams

Have a wonderful day, and God bless,

Paula Knox

School Counsellor

Resilience Newsletter

April 20, 2020

Hello Parents and Guardians of St. Matthew:

I hope your families had a wonderful Easter. As the reality of COVID 19 continues to impact our lives, we are having to find creative ways to engage in life! Attached is a newsletter on ways to implement happiness in the home. There are proven practices, which contribute to happiness, so this is a great opportunity to give them a try. As we aim to create joy in our homes, it is important to also validate the emotions connected to loss that children/teens are coping with at this time. It is confusing to feel so much at once! Caregivers can play a healthy role in helping young people to know that this is all part of being human and adjusting to change.

Junior High parents, please encourage your children to complete the wellness survey posted in their Health forums, if they have not done so already.

Have a great week!

Mrs. Knox

Science of Happiness

April 06, 2020

Hello Parents of St. Matthew,

Fingers crossed we will get some sunny weather over the Easter Break! Please see attached Counselling Connection Newsletter for information on how you might be able to help your children identify helpful and unhelpful thoughts as they manage the COVID 19 information that comes their way. Our thoughts directly affect our feelings and behaviours. Children might be experiencing more feelings of anger and frustration due to some of the recent changes in their lives. It is important for children/teens to know that they do still have some control over events in their lives and the way they think about them. That being said, all of us are still going to have moments when we are frustrated, as we are adapting to the changes and loss of control over many situations in our lives. This is ok and healthy! Validating all family members feelings is important, as each member will react differently. Involving your children in planning activities over the break will help them to feel a sense of control!

Have a wonderful Easter, this is one spring break we will never forget! 😉

Paula Knox

Counselling Connection Newsletter

March 2020

Dear Parents of St. Matthew Students:

I hope you have had an enjoyable weekend with your families. I have appreciated being able to connect with some of the students and parents of our community over this past week. Please ask you children to check their school email for messages.

This week, I would like to encourage you to consider implementing some mindfulness practices into your child’s day. You might find that there are escalated feelings of anxiety in your family. There is a plethora of information coming at us daily about COVID-19. While this information can be useful, it can also create worry about loved ones, uncertainty about how long we will be disconnected from peers/extracurricular events, and frustration with the sudden changes that have swept our society.

Engaging in mindful practices can allow us to become grounded in the present moment, while giving our mind and body some kind and curious attention. Please see attachment for more information on mindfulness, links to mindful meditations, and some ideas for activities you can implement at home.

I have included some links below for additional support if needed in your home:

www.albertahealthservices.ca

Teens and Mental Health during COVID 19

www.unicef.org

Text For Hope: Supporting Mental Health and Wellness in a Time of Stress and Isolation (Alberta Health)

Connecteen: (For Children 12 and older)

Please let your children know that they are thought of daily by all of our staff.

Paula Knox


March 2020

Dear Parents of Junior High Students:

I hope you have had a restful weekend connecting with your family. It is truly amazing how many changes have taken place over the last week. Although we are slowly adapting, the change in routine and upcoming online learning can be stressful for students and families. During the next few months it will be important for students to look after themselves and attend to their mental health. They are used to connecting to peers and teachers daily, and that connection has taken a drastic change.

Please let your children know that I will be posting weekly wellness information in BrightSpace under their Health class. The mental health/wellness topic for this week is Self-Care. This is a perfect opportunity for parents to model Self Care strategies and to collaborate with children about the importance of scheduling daily self care practices. Please view links below for additional relevant information in the areas of managing wellness during the current COVID situation.

I also invite your children to email me if they would like to set up a phone or face to face session. My email is paula.knox@cssd.ab.ca

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any concerns or inquiries.

Managing Anxiety and Stress

Psychology Works Fact Sheet COVID 19

The New Normal

Division 1 Self Care

Self Care Plan for Younger Children

Mental Health Tips

Counselling Corner

September 2019

My name is Paula Knox. I am the School Counsellor at St. Matthew’s School and am passionate about empowering students to discover their unique strengths. My hope is to reduce mental health stigma and provide resources to students, parents and teachers that will enhance student well being. My role includes supporting students, teachers and families of the community while adhering to high ethical practice and Catholic values. I believe that with the proper supports in place, all students can achieve success. I am available to assist students with any concerns related to:

  • Academic achievement
  • Classroom supports
  • Organizational skills
  • Attendance
  • Attention
  • Self Esteem
  • Sudden life changes
  • Relationships (Family/Peer)
  • Behaviour
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Grief and loss
  • Self identity

For a variety of back to school topics please view the following Alberta Health site:

https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/info/Page2542.aspx

Resources to support Parents in child's mental health journey:

https://www.cmho.org/education-resources/parent-resources/

http://albertahealthservices.ca/amh/Page2716.aspx

Please contact me if you have any inquiries.

Email: Paula.Knox@cssd.ab.ca

Phone: 403-500-2030

Website: www.paulaknoxcounsellor.com

Paula Knox