Residential School Syndrome ( Rss ) Was Coined By Psychiatrist Dr. Charles Brasfield

1868 Words Nov 3rd, 2016 8 Pages
Residential School Syndrome (RSS) was coined by psychiatrist Dr. Charles Brasfield, and it refers to a group of symptoms exhibited by some survivors of the Canadian residential school system. These schools operated in the early 1900s until the late 1990s, and Aboriginal children across Canada were forcibly removed from their homes to attend. The traumas that students at residential schools suffered ranged from being apart from their families to being physically or sexually abused. Brasfield’s diagnosis of Residential School Syndrome can be seen as both empowering and damaging for survivors of residential schools, and the entire Canadian Aboriginal population. The syndrome affirms the traumas students experienced at residential schools, and removes blame from the survivors. If, like veterans of war who suffer from PTSD, those diagnosed with RSS could receive compensation or additional healing services, then RSS can be a positive labelling. However, diagnosing RSS could also contribute to stigmas about Aboriginal people in the Canadian health care system. Overall, RSS is a label that can empower survivors in the future, if they can receive healing or compensation from the diagnosis, and if the health care system accommodates the diagnosis. Firstly, to diagnose an individual with RSS is to affirm their experience in residential schools. To call it RSS rather than PTSD is to directly link residential schools to the consequences seen through the current struggles of survivors…

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