JIS News

The Ministry of Education says it is moving to deal with the effect the current violence is having on the psychological health and emotional wellbeing of students.
In a release Tuesday (May 25), the Ministry stated that its Guidance Counselling Unit has organised a meeting with leaders of various agencies, including the Victim Support Unit, the Dispute Resolution Foundation (DRFY), the Early Childhood Commission (ECC), the Child Development Agency (CDA), the Offices of the Children’s Registry and Children’s Advocate (OCR, OCAY), the Grace and Staff Foundation, UNICEF, the Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA), the Peace Management Initiative (PMI), the Council of Churches, Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM ) and the Red Cross, to co-ordinate a response and provide trauma counselling in the affected schools and communities, as soon as it is safe to do so.
The Ministry is also asking parents/guardians and families to answer their children’s questions about the violence thoughtfully and objectively – not answering their questions will likely escalate their fears.
“When possible let children return to their normal activities. Encourage them to play with their friends. Let them listen to their music of choice. However, they need to be properly supervised during these activities,” the Ministry said.
“When possible encourage children to put their thoughts and concerns in writing and drawings and use those as springboards for discussion. Should issues such as the use of excessive gun images, images of rampant bloodshed and/or excessive sadness, arise out of the children’s writing/drawings and discussions, this warrants further intervention and counselling,” the release said.
“Please contact the Ministry of Education’s Guidance and Counselling Unit or any of the above agencies for assistance,” it concluded.
The Public was also invited to call the following numbers, at any time, to speak with a counsellor:
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION GUIDANCE AND COUNSELLING UMIT24 Hour Access Lines for Trauma and Grief Counseling355-7253852-4119443-5486844-3057446-2047841-5992292-32743514519829-6691700-6072583-4614799-7526402-3649405-3060445-0699427-0022423-9167318-0901

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