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We are focusing on positive memories – counselor

We are focusing on positive memories – counselor

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Resident guidance counselor at the Georgetown Secondary School (GSS), Annalita Dublin, says there is no specific time frame for how long it will take for students to get over Monday’s fatal vehicular accident that claimed the life of five, including 17-year-old GSS student Racquel Ashton,{{more}} while two others, including another GSS student, Simonique Ballantyne, are still missing at sea.

“There will be individual assessments. People grieve differently. For some persons, especially those who are close to the students, it may take a while. I can’t say, but because I am here on the ground, I will have to continue to work with the students,” she explained to SEARCHLIGHT when we visited the school on Tuesday.

At the time of our visit, Dublin, who has been at the school for approximately three years, was deep into counselling sessions with students affected by Monday’s incident.

Dublin said since the fateful day, there has been a general reaction of sadness throughout the school.

“From my standpoint, what I was able to do was to mobilize the guidance committee and we were able to bring the students and teachers together and have an assembly where we spoke to them openly about what we had heard,” she stated.

On Monday, January 12, a minibus travelling from Fancy ran off the road at Rock Gutter — an area about one and a half miles south east of Fancy — and plunged into the sea below.

According to Dublin, they engaged in devotions, prayed together and encouraged the students.

“We have some of my colleagues from the guidance counsel association and six of them are here from other schools and are going to the classes and dealing with it on an individual basis, where we are giving the students an opportunity to express how they feel about what happened,” she said.

“We are trying our best. Racquel’s death was confirmed, but Simonique is still missing and it is extremely hard on her class because some of them are still clinging to hope that she will be found somewhere. That makes the grieving process a bit harder because some of them are not at the point of accepting that this person may be gone and as a result, grief is somewhat delayed.”

“We are focusing on trying to bring out the positive memories and get them to focus on that. With that would come the smiles as they remember the happy moments. It’s a way of dealing with the whole crisis. Even though they are crying, they would have remembered that this person contributed positively to their lives,” Dublin said.

She said she is thankful that a guidance committee had been established at the school so it was easy for them to activate a plan to assist the students.

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