Dr. Ysanne Marville, Educational Psychologist as she spoke about the importance of creating awareness of mental illnesses.
Teachers aware of mental needs
Contrary to popular belief, teachers appear to be aware of the need to train so that they are able to address the mental needs of their students.
Word of this came from Dr. Ysanne Marville, educational psychologist, as she spoke with The Barbados Advocate on the sidelines of the OCD Conference, which was held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on Wednesday morning.
During Wednesday’s session, Dr. Marville revealed that they had 65 teachers registered for the event. However, she reported that 100 of them showed up. She praised LESC for facilitating the extra persons and added that some teachers were just happy to stand in the back to get the necessary information.
“So when parents would have said that teachers are not helping their children we found that some teachers kind of echoed it. So as a result, we are now developing awareness and the need to help,” she said.
“So the packed room communicated to me that teachers are aware that there is a difficulty and they are quite motivated to be educating themselves to support children and young people. So I was quite pleased to see the teaching community come out and offer support and ask questions and started to kind of recognise symptoms of children in their class that they were not aware of before.”
She noted that some teachers expressed their gratitude to them for hosting the conference as many of them felt guilty because they were not able to identify the needs of children; however, now they were aware and had the tools necessary to put things in place for the children.
Janis Marville, Vice President of the G. Halley Marville Trust echoed her daughter’s sentiments and revealed that persons were already asking the Trust to host another session for a full day because of the rich information they received.
She expressed that she was surprised and happy with the turnout of the teachers.
“Now we have 100 teachers leaving more empathetic and more compassionate; and people with learning difficulties and who are anxious, need that above anything else,” she said.
“It’s easy for us to be empathetic and compassionate when we see a physical need, but when the need is internal and we’re not aware of it or we’re silent about it because of the stigma in Barbados; I believe that this week what we did was shatter this silence.”