Ministry of Education Appealing for Materials to Aid Trauma Therapy Programs
The Ministry of Education, in responding to the traumatic events experienced by residents of West Kingston and other areas of the city during the recent civil unrest, is appealing for support.
There is great need for items including journals for students and teachers, art therapy materials such as paint, markers, crayons, paint by number sets, craft making kits and paper, as well as assistance with the transportation of students from affected areas on day trips.
Please contact the Ministry of Education at (876) 502 5804 for more information or drop off donations at the Guidance and Counselling Unit at the Ministry of Education’s Caenwood Centre, 37 Arnold Road, Kingston 5.
Since the unrest, the Ministry has been coordinating the response in primary and secondary schools and working with the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) to address needs at the early childhood level.
To date the Ministry’s response has included:
1. The formation of the Critical Incident Management Alliance which facilitates training and counselling efforts, initiating action to respond to the needs of the juveniles who were detained in the recent joint police/military operation in West Kingston.
2. The establishment of a toll free counselling helpline (1-888-429-KARE (5273), facilitated by Jamaica’s three mobile service providers.
3. Support sessions/group counselling for teachers; teachers expressed concerns about their ability to teach effectively based on own emotional readiness.
4. The Minister of Education will be visiting with teachers and students when schools reopen in the area.
5. The sourcing of support material for teachers/guidance counsellors to aid in trauma and bereavement therapy sessions in schools, including the acquisition of art and play therapy material.
6. The development of a short, medium and long term plan to embed trauma therapy/counselling into teaching practice.
7. The dissemination of basic information on coping with crises to all teachers and parents island wide.
The Ministry of Education’s Guidance and Counselling Unit and the ECC thank UNICEF, BASHCO, MEGAMART, Susie Couch, Crazy Jim, Stephanie Scott, Honey Bun, St. Luke’s Church, the KSAP Library, the Institute of Jamaica, Novelty Trading Company, the Jamaica Medical Doctors Association, Growing Minds and El Centro After School Centre for their donation of refreshments, space and therapeutic material at short notice.