Lubbock crisis counselor helping students cope with loss - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Lubbock crisis counselor speaks about helping students cope with loss

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Brad Bernard has been a school counselor for 39 years Brad Bernard has been a school counselor for 39 years

It is a rare sight to see Mr. Bernard without a smile.

Simply walking down the hall, the Bayless Elementary school counselor hears his name shouted by kids from all directions.

Each day Brad Bernard eats lunch with a different set of students; today it was to celebrate Hannah's birthday with five of her best friends.

Bernard has been working as a school counselor for 39 years, 15 of those here in Lubbock.

Two of those years Bernard served as a crisis counselor, counselors who are sent to schools to help kids cope during a tragedy.

He says that even after nearly four decades, the job is never easy.

"You acknowledge they are going through a tough time and you say ‘I'm sorry for your loss and I'm sorry this is happening," Bernard said.

"Help them understand that this is one of those horrible parts of life and we hate it for them."

But it's a tragedy in Bernard's own life that allows him to relate so well to struggling students.

"Ten years ago my wife and I lost our youngest daughter to leukemia."

Hillary was diagnosed in 2002 at just 19 years old and later died in June of 2003.

But Bernard kept working, continuing to serve students and faculty while dealing with the trials in his own life.

"If there was any benefit, and I think I can say that, it's that it probably helps me with families who are experiencing losses and dealing with a loss whatever it may be."

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