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By Roscoe N. Gacusana, Ed.D., RGC

Dr. Roscoe N. Gacusana, RGC, Guidance Counselor of Saint Mary’s University, one of the speakers during the 45th PGCA Annual National Convention (Sapphire Jubilee) talked about, “Creating Futures for Drug Dependents” on May 20-22, 2009 at the Diamond Hotel and University of Santo Tomas (UST), Manila, Philippines. Dr. Ma. Teresa B. Tayaban, Head, Department of Psychology and Guidance of Saint Mary’s University, expanded on, “Exploring Filipino Thanatology”. The participants were registered guidance counselors, candidates for grandfather’s clause, professors/instructors and teachers in the fields of psychology and guidance from different schools, colleges and universities in the country. The workshops took place at the Accounting Building of UST, Manila.

Drug menace is still one of the pressing problems in our contemporary times since it is the source of economic, physical, social and moral degeneration and degradation. It is considered as the root or mother of all crimes. Guidance counselors are challenged to initiate alternative and intervention programs or activities to minimize if not totally eradicate drug abuse in schools and communities. The workshop aimed to: 1.) disseminate information about the nature, ill-effects, causes and prevention of drug abuse; 2.) discuss the salient features of R.A. 9165 and NDEP Components, PDEA and DDB; 3.) rehabilitating drug dependents; 4.) a. prepare a workplan in drug prevention and b. present output and for the participants to share their experiences about drug dependents in their schools; 5.) a. present drug case studies and researches which are applicable at institutional level and b. comment on current critical issues on drugs in schools and communities ; and 6.) discuss some approaches in drug counseling. Dr. Gacusana introduced the “DrugWatch (A Vision to Make the Schools and Communities Crime- and Drug-free)”, an advocacy program about drug abuse prevention and presented a project proposal on “Counseling the Inmates esp. the Drug Dependents” at the Provincial Jail in Nueva Vizcaya.

The workshop on “Exploring Filipino Thanatology” aimed to familiarize the participants on Thanatology in general, Filipino Thanatology in particular. Moreover, participants were encouraged to reflect on their attitude towards death and dying. Research findings on Filipino adolescents’ perceptions, experiences, and coping responses to death and bereavement were also discussed. Dr. Ma. Teresa B. Tayaban urged the guidance counselors to learn and do grief counseling to their clients.

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