Psychosocial School Support Programme
As part of the Mental Health Support for schools, we were in St Xavier’s School, Godavari on the 21st May. St Xavier’s School is a community school with 900 students enrolled from grades 1 to 10 from the surrounding village. Nearly 70 teachers and support staffs participated in the counselling session.
The day consisted of two sessions. The first session was designed to help staff members deal with their own fears and share experiences with their peers. The participants were divided into five groups, each group consisting of about 14-15 members and facilitated by one of our counsellor. We found that some of the teachers were really scared while some had already moved on after the incident. It was notable that the teachers were in great dilemma on how to deal with their students and how to ensure that they were really safe physically and mentally.
The second session was designed around providing support to students on the first day, dealing with their fears and concerns and creating a “new normal” life in the post-earthquake situation. Our volunteer Jennifer De La Montana presented on how to handle students once the school reopens after earthquake. The presentation was very interactive which dealt with the probable mental issues a student may have encountered due to earthquake and do’s and don’ts in addressing the issue efficiently and effectively. The participants were divided into groups of five and a participatory group work was also done. In the group work they discussed on what probable questions may arise from students and how to answer it in a positive note.
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