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Ministry of Education Provides Students from Morakot-ravaged Families with Counseling

Ministry of Education Provides Students from Morakot-ravaged Families with Counseling
On August 8, 2009, Typhoon Morakot devastated Taiwan. In addition to rebuilding badly-hit homes and schools, faculty, staff, employees and students of these schools require the coordinated efforts of the central and local governments together with the private sector to reduce the distress they are experiencing and to provide them with needed counseling.

To effectively provide them with counseling services, the Ministry has set up a counseling mechanism jointly with city/county governments and universities, with the Ministry coordinating efforts aimed to provide typhoon-hit teachers, students and parents with counseling services. These services include student adoption-guidance, counseling, home visits, care and counseling by mail or phone, referrals, group counseling, and peer counseling in an effort to reduce their distress.

Reconstruction of the typhoon-hit areas is divided into two stages. Stage 1 covers the time left before school begins, with a focus on stress reduction of the typhoon-battered students, teachers and parents. Stage 2 covers the period from the time school begins to the end of February 2010, with the priority being to reinforce the victims' mental health and adaptability.

As far as counseling is concerned, city/county governments will work with their help centers and adequately deploy psychologists, counselors, and retired principals and teachers in the temporary shelters for the victims according to their needs. To achieve better results, arrangements will be made to have counselors belonging to southern Taiwan college counseling centers, senior high and vocational school counseling groups and other city/county counseling resources centers adopt and guide typhoon-stricken schools to help them with their counseling work.

Moreover, to improve teachers' ability to counsel typhoon-hit students and track their progress, the Ministry will train certain teachers to counsel these students and draw up guidelines for counseling them. On completion of Stage 2, counseling for teachers and students hit by the typhoon will continue, with the task included in the Ministry's 2010 Friendly Campus Student Counseling Mechanism in an attempt to provide long-term counseling services to these teachers and students until they recover.

To pool resources, the Ministry is recruiting professionals willing to help counsel students from the typhoon-hit areas. Individuals with relevant backgrounds are urged to volunteer their services by visiting the Ministry's southern Taiwan counseling center's (National Kaohsiung Normal University) website at to sign up and work with the central and southern Taiwan counseling centers to meet the needs of city and county governments.

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