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The University of Belize Holds Social Work Summit

The University of Belize held a Social Work Summit today to highlight the social work profession and to advocate for social workers to be acknowledged as mental health professionals. The event was held under the banner – The time is right for social work. According to a Lecturer in the Social Work Department at the University of Belize, Azalia Larrieu, social workers have been overshadowed in the education department, especially at the primary school level. She also stated that the exclusion of these workers from these areas can hinder the way the students perform academically.

Azalia Larrieu, Lecturer, UB Social Work Department: “A child cannot learn if that child has some type of trauma. So symptoms of trauma that child is exhibiting and this is merely biological. It’s neurological in which if that child is at home, going through a lot of abuse at home for example, or even hearing a lot of that abuse from parents, trying to figure out, where will I get the next meal from? You know, and that causes a lot of frustration in the family itself. They go to school, maybe we have teachers as well that have this frustration as well coming through, alright? If that child is in that environment, if I’m not able to regulate myself, I pass it on to my child. You cannot function. You cannot expect that child to concentrate or to learn new material in that way. If the child is regulated emotionally, the child will better be able to capture new material. It’s impossible.”

The University will also be signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the California Baptist University, which could mean the implementation of a Master’s program in Social Work at the UB.