Topic 5 Italy

In the following slides, we present (in Italian) the organizational model of school psychologist in Italy and different contacts to access support, both in schools and through mental health associations and charities

School psychologists:

The School Psychologist was introduced as a strategy to promote psychological well-being in schools due to the health emergency of COVID-19 (Art.3 of the MI-CNOP Protocol of October 2020; D.D. 87 of August 6, 2020). Interventions for psychological support, are coordinated by the Regional School Offices and the Regional Boards of Psychologists.

The Guidelines for the Promotion of Psychological Wellbeing in Schools suggest:

  • the strengthening of sharing spaces and alliance between School and Family, even at distance;
  • the use of psychological support actions capable of managing listening desks and assisting the activities of school staff in the application of innovative teaching methodologies (in presence and at distance) and in the management of pupils with disabilities and those with DSA or specific developmental disorders or other special educational needs, for whom there are no specialized support teachers.

There are four areas of intervention identified and considered: 

  1.  Organizational support to the educational institution
  2. Support to school staff
  3. Support to students
  4. Support to families

Organizational support to the educational institution: the school can make use of communication and decision-making experts who can properly calibrate messages and decisions so as to make them more incisive and effective.

  • Support for evaluation and educational experimentation;
  • Monitoring of “organizational climate.»

Support to school staff: the health and well-being of the teaching staff and collaborators is another indispensable element for the smooth functioning of the school.  The psychologist can ensure effective action with respect to the personal well-being of the teacher or staff member, the acquisition of psycho-educational classroom management strategies, and enhance strategies for working with students.

  • Support for the acquisition of psycho-educational classroom management strategies;
  • Support in building functional learning environments;
  • Support in promoting student resources: the psychologist can support teachers in implementing strategies and best practices aimed at fostering students’ resilience and resources;
  • Supporting the teacher in daily practice and possibly offering counseling moments on the most complex cases.

 Support to the students: the role of the school psychologist cannot but include support for those individuals who most face the ongoing transformations within the school structure.

  • Psychological support for the emotional dimension;
  • Sending students to external services for additional support;
  • Creating a space (in presence or at distance) for listening and welcoming any difficulties encountered by pupils, in order to contain and accompany students in the recovery of well-being in the school environment;
  • Interventions aimed at the class group and shared with teachers in order to deepen and improve knowledge of emotions;
  • Supporting the monitoring of pupils’ learning levels and supporting any criticisms of pupils with DSAp or neurodivergent (ADHD, BES Special Educational Needs legislation).

Support to families: the intervention of the school psychologist also includes support for families, who are involved in the important changes that the school undergoes and acts upon. Numerous changes have involved pupils’ families, and these changes will continue to affect students’ parents in the coming years.

  • Supporting the coordination of school/student/family actions.
  • Enabling meeting spaces with parents to welcome and contain doubts and difficulties and give back useful and specific strategies and directions with respect to the needs reported by the subjects themselves
  • Advising parents on issues such as student mental health support
  • Management of meetings with parents to discuss students’ needs and provide them with information on how to continue to support their children in their school experience
  • Art. 31 od D.L.March 22, 2021, No.41 “so-called Supports Decree”-“Measures to promote the educational activity and the recovery of skills and sociality of students in the Covid-19 emergency” has established the extension of the School Psychologist on the basis of the subjective choice of each Institute.
  • The presence of the psychologist in the Italian school, beyond specific situations regulated by law, is not defined by a norm that sees its stable inclusion aimed at all requesting users, but leaves full autonomy to schools that may or may not avail themselves of the possibility of such a service, through agreements with local health authorities, regional school offices, students and their families upon resolution of the collegiate bodies, with the contribution of institutions, banking institutions, associations, parents, or through the Institute Fund.
  • With the Covid-19 emergency from April 27 to June 30, 2020, was operative the toll-free psychological support number 800.833.833, activated by the Ministry of Health and Civil Defense, with technological support offered free of charge aimed at the entire population. Every day from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m., specialized professionals, psychologists, psychotherapists and psychoanalysts responded to requests for help. The initiative – safe and free of charge – aimed to complement all psychological care services guaranteed by the NHS during the phase of social isolation.
  • The Italian Association of Psychoanalitical Psychotherapy for Child, Adolescent and Family offered a FREE PSYCHOLOGICAL LISTENING aimed at families with children and adolescents, pregnant mothers and young adults with a range of professionals visible at this page
  • The Free Entry service is a free listening and counseling desk aimed at girls and boys aged 14 to 24, offering support for growth in adolescence. The service is promoted by the Youth Policy Departments of the municipalities of the Unione delle Terre d’Argine, in collaboration with the AUSL of Modena.
  • The Youth Counseling Center Service, ages 14 to 24, is the “main place” for adolescent and youth issues. It is staffed by professionals qualified to welcome, listen, understand and respond to the needs of this developmental stage
  • OTB Foundation and Alice Onlus Association created the project “Only The Brave calls Alice,” a free helpline for young people from all over Italy aged 12 to 20 in distress because they are affected by anxiety, depression and lack of self-esteem. Access is free by reservation by writing to – indicating the skype username, the secretary will indicate time and day of the interview – or by connecting to skype and initiating the call;
  • The Blue Telephone with the 1.96.96 Listening Line, for children, adolescents and adults, is a free service and welcomes help requests from the national territory 24/7. Specifically, it offers: listening, support, and concrete help to children and adolescents up to 18 years of age, regarding all the problems and needs that concern them, both in reference to situations of distress and emergency; also offers counseling and support to families and adults who, for various reasons, wish to confront the problems of childhood and adolescence;
  • Meyer Children’s Hospital has activated a service through the psychologists and psychotherapists of the Meyer Pediatric Hospital Psychology Service who will respond to families to help them manage, at home, relationships and communication with their children during such a stressful time. The service will be available Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at 055 5662547. Mail: