By Joshua Urbalejo
For the past 15 years, social worker Mr. Efrain Carrillo has been helping students with traumatic and emotional issues, and for the fifth year, a “Grief and Loss” group has been helping students cope with overwhelming feelings due to challenging issues.
“Round 2” of the Grief and Loss group will continue into the spring 2022 semester, Carrillo said.
“I look forward to continuing to help students with a whole spectrum of problems,” he said.
Carrillo has a little “help” this school year, as he is working with Mr. Juan Mejia, whose internship will be completed in May—allowing Mejia to earn his master’s degree from Arizona State University (Tucson campus).
“This [Grief and Loss] group is a safe place for people to share their stories and not be judged,” Mejia said.
Mejia added that he hopes to stay in Tucson—maybe even at Pueblo—after earning his degree.
“The Grief and Loss group allows students to express their feelings,” Carrillo said. “I am always there for them—to listen to them, to comfort them and most of all, support them through difficult times.”
Carrillo created this group, feeling the need to fulfill students’ emotional needs.
“What students tell me is very confidential,” Carrillo said, “although I always have to take additional steps when students are suicidal or if abuse is expressed or suspected.”
He wants all Warrior students to remember the Loss and Grief motto: “Comfort, Hope, and Purpose.”
“I want to help students with their sadness and to listen and validate their feeling before they turn into depression,” Carrillo said. “My office is always open, but the group meets regularly on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Room 199.”
Carrillo said that he counsels students in several other groups that meet on campus, including Boys to Men”, LGBTQ students, a girls’ group and “Si Se Puede”.
El Guerrero is committed to featuring these stories this spring.