Guidance Counsellors

At Sacred Heart College we understand the challenges and pressures our young boys’ face as they navigate their journey towards becoming young men. The role of the Guidance counsellor is to provide support to any student seeking or needing help, providing them with strategies to help them cope through and overcome their struggles, so they can succeed and thrive in life.

Introducing Our Counsellors

We have two Counsellors, Mrs Nua Silipa and Mrs Stephanie Ioka.

Mrs Silipa is a qualified and experienced school counsellor of 27 years, the latter 9 years have been in Catholic boys’ schools, two of which at Sacred Heart College.

Mrs Ioka has extensive experience working in pastoral care at the College, having been part of the Pastoral Care Team for the past nine years. She has also previously worked in guidance counselling at Sacred Heart in 2013, and is currently completing a Master’s Degree in this field of work.

An essential aspect of a counsellors’ role is identifying mental health and wellbeing needs and recommending age appropriate programmes to help address those needs. Mrs Silipa has pastoral leadership experience having implemented programmes that foster positive school community relationships such as Peer Support, Restorative Practice, Peer Mediation and the Travellers’ programme. At Sacred Heart she has collaborated with Mrs Ioka to introduce a now well-established Peer Support programme. Both Mrs Silipa and Mrs Ioka are currently working towards the implementation of two other key programmes to help meet the needs of our boys’ across all levels.

Mrs Silipa and Mrs Ioka’s practice abides by the NZAC & NZCCA Code of Ethics which means that confidentiality is maintained unless there is imminent risk to safety.

Nua Silipa
(09) 529 3660 Ext. 896

Stephanie Ioka
(09) 529 3660 Ext. 896

Useful Resources

Recommended telephone lines:
Need to talk? Ministry of Health Free phone or text 1737
Youthline: 0800-376633 or txt 027 4 youths
Chinese Lifeline: 0800 888 880
Domestic Violence Centre: (24-hour line) (09) 303 3939
Sexual Abuse Help: (24 hours) (09) 623 1700
Pasifika Health Services (09) 828 4307
Parenting Place: (09) 524 0025 or 0800 535659

Recommended websites:
For depression: and
Drinking and drugs:
Body image and eating issues:
Internet safety:
Autism Spectrum Disorder:
Parenting Place:   Toolbox Parenting Courses

Students seek counselling each week for a wide range of issues and are represented from all academic levels, ethnicities and year groups. Issues range from any of the following, to name a few:

  • Personal issues including low self esteem
  • Stress from issues at home – Financial issues, parents separating
  • Stress from school - schoolwork, homework, pressure, levels of difficulty or lacking motivation
  • Relationship issues - friends, girlfriend, parents, siblings, wider family members, peers at school
  • Bullying and harassment
  • Anxiety, panic attacks, phobias
  • Behavioural issues
  • Examination stress and how to manage it
  • Self-Harm
  • Sexuality or identity issues
  • Depression
  • Loss and grief of a family member or friend
  • Feeling discriminated, victimised
  • Drug/alcohol, addictions
  • Body image – eating disorders

The support offered could come in various forms either counselling, accessing external agencies, arranging peer support, or helping when well-being assessments need to be made. If appropriate, and with parental consent, students can be referred free of charge to either (depending on the home address) the Kari Centre, Whirinaki, or Marinoto for psychological support. This may be recommended when students face depression, anxiety, panic attacks or other mental health issues. Itinerant counsellors from Youthline, Altered High, and other Youth/Mental health organisations may come into the school in collaboration with the counsellors’ or the Pastoral Care Team.

Making an Appointment

For Students: Visit the counselling area at the start of the day (between 8am and 8.45am) to make an appointment with the counsellor. An appointment box with slips is located on or next to the counsellors’ office door. You are also welcome to email the counsellor directly.

For Parents: Please feel free to send through an email or phone on the counsellors’ direct extension.

Providing privacy is of high importance, the councillors offices are situated with this in mind. Counsellors’ offer individual and small group counselling, mediation and advocacy skills. Our Counsellors’ work closely with the Pastoral Care team, the Heads of Years, the School Nurse and the Specialist Teacher supports.

Senior Peer Support Leaders in Junior Homerooms

This year to support our junior boys’ we have trained the Prefects and volunteer senior leadership students with Peer Support training which they will take with them into the Junior Homerooms. We understand that harassment, bullying and shaming can cause long-term psychological damage. By providing mentoring supports for our junior boys’ they will be able to learn more effectively and feel emotionally safe at school.