The word “counsellor” might mean many different things to everyone, depending on their background and experience in the past with counselling. The counselling department is there for students when they are experiencing difficulties with a variety of issues, such as (test)anxiety, a low mood or trouble navigating friendships. We understand the challenges and obstacles of secondary school and being a teen, and we are here to help students navigate them.

Privacy is extremely important when talking to a counsellor. When we meet with students our sessions will be kept confidential, but there are exceptions to this rule. In cases of child abuse, (suicidal) threat to oneself, or harm to others, counsellors are required by Dutch law to report such incidents to the relevant authorities. 

During counselling sessions we collaborate with students to figure out in which areas they want to grow in. We set realistic goals, and help students achieve them. Every counselling experience is different based on the goals students set. Some students might see a counsellor for one session, while others might need more time to work towards their goals. In general, we try to help students reach their goals within six sessions. If counselling is proving to be insufficient because of the severity of the problems a student is experiencing, we will help students and parents navigate the Dutch mental health care system, so more specialised, long term help, can be provided.


RISS uses a comprehensive pastoral approach, so if a student wishes to meet with a counsellor, they need to be referred by their tutor and the Head of Section. Students should not self-refer themselves to counselling.  A student who needs support will first be supported by their tutor. When tutor support is not sufficient, the tutor will talk to the Head of Section, after which the counselling process will start. 

All students at RISS under the age of 16 require parental permission to meet with the counsellor. When parents give permission for their child to meet with the school counsellor, this is an acknowledgement of the mandatory reporting code related to child abuse, neglect and endangerment that Dutch law requires of school counsellors, teachers and staff.

To contact our counsellors directly for questions regarding this process, please email If you think a student might benefit from counselling because they are experiencing difficulties, please contact their tutor directly.

***Important Information for all Students, Parents & Teachers***

  • If you have an immediate emergency, please call 112.

  • The suicide prevention hotline in The Netherlands is 113. It's available 24/7.

  • For cases of suspected child abuse or endangerment, you can contact Veilig House at 0800-2000 or the Rotterdam Crisis Intervention Team at 010 233 00 00.