Mental health disorders among students are a growing problem in today’s postsecondary institutions. Counselors in many of these institutions are overwhelmed by the increasing demand for their services. This chapter presents findings from a qualitative study that examined the challenges community college counselors face when working with students experiencing mental health disorders. Ten counselors from seven colleges in the province of Alberta in Canada participated in semi-structured individual and telephone interviews that were analyzed thematically. The counselors dealt with a high proportion of minority and ethnically diverse students who experienced multiple barriers to postsecondary study. Two broad themes with several subthemes emerged from the analysis. The two broad themes were (1) challenges for counselors arising from the mind-set of students about their mental health condition and (2) challenges for counselors arising from lack of resources. Implications of these findings for practice and policy are discussed.
Part of the book: Health and Academic Achievement
Domestic violence among immigrant families and communities resettling in Canada is a growing area of concern for all stakeholders. Efforts to develop and implement culturally meaningful policy and practice initiatives to address this violence have been hampered by the diversity that exists among immigrant families, lack of information on how violence plays out in these families and inadequate resources. Since domestic violence and child abuse often co-occur in the same families, there is a growing trend among organizations like Children’s Services to employ formalized partnerships with cultural brokers to build respectful relationships with immigrant families and provide culturally relevant interventions. This research-based paper describes the range of services cultural brokers render as part of this partnership, explores the challenges they experience as working partners, and makes recommendations for strengthening the partnership. The findings have implications for social work practitioners and other stakeholders who are interested in using community-based approaches for improving services for immigrant families that are involved or at risk of getting involved with Children’s Services.
Part of the book: Global Social Work