Psychologists prefer not to work in New Brunswick schools, groups say
- March 27, 2018
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A shortage of school psychologists is reaching crisis mode, and students are suffering because of it, says the head of the New Brunswick Teachers Association.
George Daley first raised the issue when he was elected president of the association last August, and he has made it a priority, meeting with psychologists across New Brunswick and preparing a report on the issue for the Department of Education.
But he says things aren’t getting better.
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The province’s anglophone school districts have a total of 29 positions for psychologists, but at the beginning of this year, employed only 11 or 12, Daley said. Since then, the number has dropped to seven or eight.
“Across the province, we are struggling,” he said. “We cannot get psychologists into the positions.
“It’s a dire situation.”
Students are not getting their needs met, which affects their education and overall well-being, he said.
“What I’m asking now is to put yourself in the situation of the family who has a child who has mental health issues, who may have attempted suicide, a child who can’t go to school, a child who needs an academic assessment so we can give them the programming that they need,” Daley said.
“And then not be able to access those services.
“We have those things occurring in the province, and some suffer the ultimate consequence — and that’s not academic testing. That rips at my insides. I say that’s not acceptable.”