School Reopening: Expert Advocates Mental Health Counselling for Special Needs Children

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The Head of School at Anthos House, Dr. Kimberley Scollard, has called for mental health counselling for special needs children as schools reopen across the country.

She said this in a recent interview after the Lagos State government announced that schools can reopen.

“It has been a very difficult time for everyone. We have all gone through what we have never experienced in our lifetime. The six-month schools’ lockdown has taken a mental toll on everyone in the academic environment; so, there is a general need for schools to organise mental health counselling for their students. This counselling would make it easy for them to transit back to school and reduce the anxieties related to returning back to school after the prolonged stay at home,” she said.

According to her, apart from following the COVID-19 preventive guidelines issued by the government, Anthos House will prioritise mental health counselling for its students. “We have done the things that the government asked schools to do, such as staff training on COVID-19 prevention and installation of handwashing and hand sanitizer stations. Besides that, our counsellors, psychologists and emotional therapy teachers will work with our students and their parents to reduce the fear associated with resumption.”

Scollard added that because some parents are not comfortable with allowing their children to go back to school now, the school provides students with an online or on-site learning option.

Anthos House is an initiative of Greensprings School. It was established in 2018 to provide intensive care, quality education, and therapy for students aged from 10 to +17 with mild to moderate learning needs, as well as children with autism, Down Syndrome and cerebral palsy, among others.