NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (July 04, 2013) — The Nevis Island Administration (NIA) has beefed up its support system for students exposed to violent crimes, among them murders.
Premier of Nevis and Minister responsible for Education Hon. Vance Amory, who was a guest, along with Assistant Commissioner of Police Robert Liburd who is responsible for the Nevis Police Division, on a special edition of Voice of Nevis (VON) Radio’s weekly “Let’s Talk” programme on July 02, 2013 explained that the Counselling team had been augmented by other key members of the community who would be readily on hand to assist.
“We set up and organised an extended counselling team to talk to the children who would have witnessed a murder or who was close to someone who was murdered. We recognise that a murder, a killing, a break-in, violence can have traumatic effects on children and it is therefore in that light, that I decided as Minister of Education, that we talk to the principal of the school, we talk to the Counsellors, we got Ministers of Religion to go in to augment the whole process, so that any child who suffered any trauma as a result of seeing, being affected by, because of a family connection or friendship or school mate or whatever it is, can have that access to that Counselling.
“I am aware, from my own experience, that the minds of children are very delicate and they become affected by what they see, what they hear and if it is something which impinges on them from proximity, then they need to be given some help, some counselling, some guidance in dealing with that problem,” he said.
Mr. Amory also disclosed plans for the next school year to increase the capability of its resources to work with children so that they could have the benefit of counselling by either trained counsellors, someone older, of Ministers of religion in an effort to address the changing behaviour of children on the island and the wave of crime that had plagued the island in recent times.
“I am satisfied that we have to tackle this problem of changing behaviours and helping people deal with trauma and this whole wave of criminality and anti-social behaviour in the schools.
“We have to get people to understand where they fit, how this thing can affect them and what sort of things they need to do, whether it’s through prayer, through discussions, through just speaking it out, asking them searching questions so they can cleanse themselves of the hurt, cleanse themselves of the trauma which we hope will be so cleaned out of their systems that it will not affect them in later years. We have dealt with that,” he said.