“And you will not put the mental illness on my son…” said the woman with a heavy African accent and an angry voice. That was a message left over the weekend on my work phone. A few weeks into my new job as a multicultural liaison for an agency in greater Vancouver, this was what I encountered on a Monday morning, as I arrived at my office. The woman was a recent refugee from Africa. She came with her baby and a boy in Grade 3 – my client. This boy was having a lot of trouble in school; he would not stay in class, but wander around the patio sometimes leaving school grounds, often showing aggression towards other students during recess. Various staff had attempted to make contact with him but he would withdraw, hiding under tables and hugging himself as he rocked back and fourth.
I had a meeting on Friday with the school counsellor, teacher, school liaison, my client’s mother and grandmother, and the mother had agreed that her son would start seeing me.
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