Student counsellors rewarded with certificates
November 12, 2013
Student counsellors rewarded with certificates

Youth Programme Coordinator at the Planned Parenthood Association, Chickeria Cumberbatch, is of the view that having peer counsellors at the secondary and tertiary education levels is a great initiative.{{more}}

According to Cumberbatch, young people, particularly secondary and tertiary students are “somewhat reluctant” to speak to trained adult counselors about issues affecting their lives.

“What we realize is that a lot of young people tend to speak to their peers instead of going to a teacher or a trained counselor, because they feel as if confidentiality will be breached.

“So, they will prefer to say to their peer: ‘My youth, I am going through this,’ or whatever the issue is and they would feel more comfortable talking to them. So, giving them the training, they will in turn know what to say and how to help their peers address the issues,” Cumberbatch told SEARCHLIGHT.

On Friday, November 1, 28 students from the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College obtained their peer counsellors’ badges after completing one month’s training.

During the training course, the peer counsellors were exposed to the basic skills and techniques of counselling, decision making, anger management and conflict resolution.

Cumberbatch, who facilitated some of the sessions, said the students, all first years, were very receptive to the training.

“They were very eager to learn and are a very vibrant set of young people. Very intelligent and I think they really have their peers at heart, because they are the ones who volunteered to be a peer counsellor,” she said.

Glenroy Thomas, one of the recently appointed peer counsellors, is a former student of the St Vincent Grammar School where he also performed peer counselling duties.

“I helped people while I was there and now that I’m attending the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College, I want to continue. As young people, we face a lot of trials and temptations, so we as young people have to try and help our fellow students.

“This programme has helped to broaden my knowledge gained at secondary school, so I am now more equipped to assist my peers at the college level.”

As for Mardica Bascombe, helping others is her passion and while attending the St Joseph’s Convent Marriaqua, she dedicated her time helping fellow students as a peer counsellor there.

“I want to continue to help my peers with whatever problems they may be having.

“Even though I was a peer counsellor while attending secondary school, I’ve gained more knowledge during these sessions.

“As young people, we tend to have a lot of issues and we need each other’s help and this advanced training will really help me to execute my duties further,” Bascombe said.(AA)