Ministry of Education provides counselling for grieving parents
Coming to terms with the loss of loved ones is a difficult experience for many persons to deal with. However, the Ministry of Education took the initiative to assist a group of parents from the Laventille/Morvant area to overcome their grief by providing counselling for them. The parents all come from the Laventille/Morvant areas which also contains schools that are part of the Ministry of Education’s Laventille/Morvant Schools Improvement Project (LMSIP). Some of them also tragically lost their children who attended schools in the LMSIP. Student Support Services Division officials from the Ministry of Education also helped to organise and provide support for the event.
The intervention and counselling took the form of a retreat to the Jammev Beach Resort in Toco on Thursday 11th April, 2019, where approximately forty (40) parents were advised by Grief and Trauma Counsellor Rodwyn Fanfare on various psychological steps they can take to alleviate their unhappiness. Mr. Fanfare added that while grieving is a painful process, he nevertheless advised theparents to allow it to continue to its natural end.
He urged them to feed their spirits with positive and happy thoughts whenever they feel they are being overwhelmed with sadness and when they cannot cope anymore with the loss of their loved ones. "Think of happy memories to help you to overcome the sad thoughts.”
He advised them to avoid negative persons because they are capable of destroying their spirits. “Your spirit if a sacred place, it is your life force and that is why it is important to be careful with the kind of company you keep,” he said.
Mr. Fanfare told the participants that while they are unable to stop tragic things from happening in their lives, they could spiritually shield their spirits against negative forces. The Serenity Prayer, he noted, is another method they can use to bring some peace of mind to their inner beings as part of the long-term healing process.The counsellor said there are cases where grieving persons are so traumatized that they afraid to even get out of their beds, so he recommended a mind exercise called Five, Four, Three, Two, One. He said this a mental exercise designed to help them to quickly get up and start moving and doing productive things to keep their minds gainfully occupied.
He also urged the traumatized parents to recognise that they can change their lives for the better and recommended they develop daily rituals to put their minds into a state of hope, which will help them to triumph over their adversities.