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Table on the comparison of the average salary of psychologists in 2022
As a result, school service centers try to recruit, but are unable to do so. There are plenty of positions open, but they remain vacant due to a lack of candidates, summarizes Karine Gauthier.
Because there are fewer psychologists, each must serve more students, therefore disperse to more schools.
In the majority of regions of Quebec, the ratio is less than one school psychologist per 1000 students. However, the ratio considered adequate would rather be one psychologist per 400 or 500 children, or nearly three times more than the current average of 0.8 psychologist per 1000 students, according to Karine Gauthier.
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When we are in three or four schools at the same time, we have the impression of being scattered and of not being able to offer a service quality, relates Catherine Archambault. “We feel helpless, frustrated, exhausted. »
Due to the working conditions which put her life balance in danger, Catherine Archambault herself decided to reduce her workload in schools to three days a week and to introduce private consultations into her practice.
I arrived young and motivated. I deeply believed in free mental health services, recalls Catherine Archambault. But quickly, I became disillusioned and this feeling of being able to help children in the public sector crumbled.
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School psychologists are among the hundreds of thousands of public sector employees who are in negotiations with the government for the renewal of their collective agreement.
The office of the Minister of Education, Bernard Drainville, responds that it is well aware of the workforce issues in the school network concerning psychologists.
We need them. This is why we [offer them] a differentiated offer of up to 30% [salary increase over five years].
A cabinet quote from the Minister of Education, Bernard Drainville
The working week of psychologists in the public sector would increase from 35 to 37.5 hours and this increase includes a bonus which cannot be taken into account when compiling the salary for the purposes of retirement, however Karine Gauthier.
I think that providing better conditions in the school could be a solution; incentives, anything, to keep them in schools. We want the best for our children, says Krystopher Larouche.
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Krystopher Larouche deplores the lack of accessibility to the services of a school psychologist.
I think it should be an accessible service, not just free. It's annoying. Someone needs to open their eyes and do something to fix the situation.
A quote from Krystopher Larouche, father of two, carpenter
At this time, it is suggested that Chase's parents turn to their doctor family or a private psychologist, a very expensive option. But Krystopher Larouche would prefer follow-up in the school environment, especially since her boy's difficulties mainly manifest themselves at school.
Karine Gauthier and Catherine Archambault agree with this argument, because they confirm that most mental health problems begin in childhood or adolescence.
When problems are dealt with quickly, there is a much greater chance that they will be resolved and that the person will not drag this out all their life, explains Karine Gauthier.
And schools are the best place to do that! adds Catherine Archambault.
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