I Err My school at the end of the fifth form, and went to a sixth form college for a year. It was then that I started to have panic attacks; it got to the point where I could do nothing, I couldn't go on public transport, 1 couldn't go out socially...
I had already had some counselling, by the time I returned to the sixth form here last year. I thought that returning to a familiar setting would help, but although I was no longer having attacks all the time, there were still things I could not face doing.
I went to my Head of Year, who suggested I go to see the school's counsellor. That was in September. At first I would come to see her twice a week, and each time make an appointment for the next meeting.
It was very constructive. For example, with my fear of going on buses, I would talk about it, and then we would analysise the situation and consider ways to tackle it, such as having something to do on the bus like reading or taking a Walkman. Eventually I would reduce that activity until I could travel normally. I'm fine now, I feel brilliant. I still come to see the counsellor sometimes, but just for an informal chat.
A teacher should be approachable, but many, especially the older ones, have not had the psychological training. The counsellor is here to listen, it's her job to be here. I think that a counsellor is something which should be widely available. It is very easy in higher education to find one, why not in secondary schools?"