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(Jamaica) School counselors overwhelmed by student behavior issues; trauma blamed

Aug 26, 2018, (Jamaica) Kingston Gleaner: Guidance Grief - Counsellors In Schools Under Pressure As Students Face Even Greater Trauma There are concerns that the increasing incidents of mental-health issues and conduct disorder among Jamaica's children are putting scores of guidance counsellors under pressure as they are not equipped to deal with the new challenges brought on by the current generation of students. Senior lecturer in clinical social work, Dr Claudette Crawford-Brown, who has been working with traumatised children for more than 36 years, says she gets a call every month from a stressed-out guidance counsellor seeking her help…. "The guidance counsellors are trained to give guidance, to teach how to choose your career, how to guide a child in terms of their academics. The problems that are occurring in the schools are now much deeper. You have now children experiencing serious trauma," said Brown…. "They already have a curriculum that they are assigned, the Health and Family Life Education," noted the clinical social worker. Guidance counsellor Paul Harding said that while persons in his profession are increasingly taking advantage of opportunities to better equip themselves to deal with the myriad issues facing children, the demand for intervention is overwhelming. "We cannot handle the volume of cases that comes to us," admitted Harding. "Guidance counsellors are not supposed to be persons who diagnose and treat. When we identify issues, we are supposed to refer. A lot of our tools in trade prepare us to identify issues of aggression and problems dealing with post-traumatic stress….


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