Developing psychosocial support systems

Amongst the recommendations developed at the consultations on Human Rights arranged by the Consortium for Humanitarian Agencies that were held in my office a few weeks back, perhaps the simplest to implement swiftly is that about the lack of well-trained counselors for children. It is true that the Education Ministry has set up a system of counselors in schools, but training has been minimal in some cases, and there are no clear guidelines as to how they should be used.

Counselors need to work in collaboration with the teachers who are most likely to be a child’s first point of reference, while they should also have access to social workers from the relevant Ministries as well as well as medical personnel in the field. In addition, it would be useful if the education system worked more coherently in developing peer group support mechanisms, in particular through the entrenchment of extra-curricular activities that ensured socialization through cooperation.

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