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RESILIENCE IN CRISIS AND TRAUMA AFTER THE STORM: CAREER COUNSELORS WORKING WITH DISPLACE INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS AND CLIENTS AFTER NATURAL DISASTERS

by Morgan Ray NCCDA Newsletter Intern | Published Spring 2020

The United States remains the top host of international students globally (Crockett and Hays, 2011). Institutions of higher learning and the workforce are acknowledging diversity by welcoming new faces and talent to their campuses and organizations across the U.S. This phenomenal event has resulted in diverse students and clients seeking the assistance of higher education professionals and career counselors to aid them in their academic and career development, and a myriad of other social, emotional and financial needs.

Students that matriculate in universities often do so on due to average circumstances. However, there is a subset to this population to consider that I noticed in the fall of 2019 – students displaced due to natural disasters from their countries of origin. Many displaced students or clients are referred to as refugees at times.

When a disaster strikes, there is a need for a mass coordination of professions to meet the needs of those affected and for communities to pull together. When Hurricane Katrina became the storm of storms in 2005, it significantly affected worker mobility. In the fall of 2019, Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas as a category 5 Hurricane. This deadly storm resulted in several deaths, billions in damage and thousands if not millions displaced. Crisis Counseling, Intervention, and Career Counseling would overlap during this event as it displaced laborers, students, and everyone in the Bahamas, or those that were in other countries at the time of the event.

A MEANINGFUL INTERVENTION

An agreement between the University of Bahamas Administrators and Hampton University (Hampton, VA) offered relief to students impacted by this traumatic experience. For the Fall 2019 semester, displaced students would receive free room and board and be able to attend classes. However, what about work? What about their families?

THIS MATTERS

It is beneficial to have crisis and trauma trained counselors and career counselors on had to aide in the readjustment of individuals in finding some normalcy in their worlds turned upside down. Work and education are often viewed as an individual’s livelihood – what do you do when it is all stripped away? The emotional and mental stress is heightened…what next?

WHAT WE AS PROFESSIONALS CAN DO

Determine where do we fit as counselors as intermediaries Crisis Intervention Training – Attend a professional development course or seminar on natural disasters or traumatic events interventions. Volunteer – American Red Cross, FEMA and Local / National Social Services If not trained in an area of mental health, seek the Mental Health First Aider certification. 

AUTHOR: Morgan Ray

Morgan Ray

Morgan Ray is currently a graduate student at North Carolina Central University and earned her Masters of Arts in Career Counseling in December 2019. Prior to attending NCCU, Morgan has been working in the field of higher education in various capacities including administrative services, student services, student affairs, and institutional research and accreditation. Currently, Morgan works as an Accreditation and Research Specialist at Wake Technical Community. Morgan is looking forward to pursuing career counseling and general counseling focused roles. 

REFERENCES

Clayton, R. L., & Spletzer, J. R. (n.d.). Worker mobility before and after Hurricane Katrina. Monthly Labor Review, 1–21. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/opub mlr/2006/ art2full.pdf

Crockett, S. A., & Hays, D. G. (2011). Understanding and responding to the career counseliing needs of international college students on U.S. campuses. Journal of College Counseling, 14(1), 65-79. Retrieved from http://nclive.org.ezproxy.nccu.edu/cgi-bin/nclsm?url=http:// search.proquest.com.ezproxy.nccu.edu/docview/864753895?accountid=12713

Dingman, R. L., & Ginter, E. J. (1995). Disasters and crises: The role of mental health counseling. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 17(3), 259–263. Retrieved from http:// search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.nccu.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=psyh&AN=1996- 92231-001&site=ehost-live

Mascari, J. B., & Webber, J. M. (2018). Disaster mental health and trauma counseling: The next decade. In J. B. Mascari & J. M. Webber (Eds.), Disaster mental health counseling: A guide to preparing and responding., 4th ed. (pp. 287–294). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association Foundation. Retrieved from http:// search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.nccu.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=psyh&AN=2018- 03329-018&site=ehost-live

Kolodner, M., Kolodner, M., Marcus, J., Marcus, J., Parks, C., & Parks, C. (2019, August 15). HBCUs open doors wider to international students. Retrieved from https:// hechingerreport.org/hbcus-open-their-doors-wider-to-international-students/. 

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NCCDA invites all to submit articles related to career development including those related to theory, practice, innovation, government relations and advocacy, special populations, etc. Submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis for possible inclusion in the quarterly newsletter. 

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