Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 31515
The New Educators: The Reasons for Saudi Arabia to Invest More in Student Counseling Programs

Authors: Turki Alotaibi


Student counseling programs can provide many benefits to students in schools all around the world. In theory, the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Saudi Arabia) has committed itself to school counseling programs in educational institutions throughout the country. Student counselors face a number of burdens and obstacles that impact student counseling programs. It is also widely known that Saudi Arabia has extremely high prevalence rates for overweight and obesity, anxiety and depression, and diabetes in children. It has also been demonstrated that teachers and staff are inadequately prepared when dealing with health issues relating to diabetes in schools in Saudi Arabia. This study will clearly demonstrate how student counselors in Saudi Arabia could become 'New Educators' in Saudi schools in relation to these health issues. This would allow them to leverage their position as student counselor to improve the management of these health issues in Saudi schools, to improve the quality of care provided to school children, and to overcome burdens and obstacles that are currently negatively affecting student counseling in Saudi schools.

Keywords: Anxiety, depression, diabetes, overweight, obesity, policy recommendations, student counseling, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1361


[1] British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy, “Theoretical Approaches",
[2] D. Mearns, B. Thorne, J. Mcleod, Person-Centred Counselling in Action. London: SAGE Publications, Ltd, 2013, p. 14.
[3] K. McArthur, M. Cooper, L. Berdondini, "School-based humanistic counseling for psychological distress in young people: pilot randomized controlled trial" Psychotherapy Research, pp.355-365, 2013.
[4] M. Cooper, "Counselling in UK secondary schools: A comprehensive review of audit and evaluation studies", vol. 9, pp. 137-150, 2009.
[5] A.E. Bergin, S.L. Garfield, Handbook of Psychotherapy and Behavior Change, New York: Wiley, 1994.
[6] M.J. Lambert, A.E. Bergin, "The effectiveness of psychotherapy" in Handbook of psychotherapy and behavior change, 4th ed. A.E. Bergin, Ed. S.L. Garfield, Ed. New York: Wiley, 1994, pp. 143-89.
[7] L.E. Beutler, P.P.P. Machado, S. AllstetterNeufeldt, "Therapist Values" in Handbook of psychotherapy and behavior change, 4th ed. A.E. Bergin, Ed. S.L. Garfield, Ed. New York: Wiley, 1994, pp. 229-69.
[8] M. Smith, G. Glass, T. Miller, The Benefits of Psychotheraphy, Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press, 1980.
[9] British Association for Counselling &Psychotheraphy, "School-based counseling – what it is and why we need it", May 2013.
[10] W. Dryden, D. Mearns, B. Thorne, "Counselling in the United Kingdom: Past, present and future", British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, vol. 28, pp. 467-483, 2000.
[11] P. Rupani, N. Haughey, M. Cooper, "The impact of school-based counseling on young people's capacity to study and learn", vol.40, British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, pp. 499-514, 2012.
[12] J. Pybis A. Hill, M. Cooper, K. Cromarty, "A comparative analysis of the attitudes of key stakeholder groups to the Welsh government's school-based counseling strategy", vol. 40, British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, pp. 485-498, 2012.
[13] A. McElearney, A. Adamson, G. Shevlin, B. Bunting, "Impact evaluation of a school-based counseling intervention in Northern Ireland: Is it effective for pupils who have been bullied?", vol. 90, Child Care in Practice, pp. 4-22, 2013.
[14] B. Harris, "International school-based counselling (Scoping Report)", London: British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy, p. 1, 2013.
[15] M.A. Saleh, "Cultural perspectives implications for counseling in the Arab world", School Psychology International, vol. 7, pp. 71-751983.
[16] S. I. Al-Rebdi, "The role of the school counsellor as perceived by counsellors, principals and teachers in Saudi Arabia", Unpublished Doctoral Thesis, University of Manchester, Manchester, 2004.
[17] The Ministry of Education, "Education Policy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia", Riyadh: Abakan, 1995.
[18] General Administration of Counselling, "Guidance of Student Counsellor in Saudi Arabia", Riyadh: Abakan, 1991.
[19] M.A. Saleh, "Counseling and guidance in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia", vol. 10, International Journal for the Advancement of Counseliing, pp. 277-286, 1987.
[20] WHO, "Obesity and overweight fact sheet no 311", January 2015.
[21] M.A.F. El-Hazmi, A.S. Warsy, "Prevalence of obesity in the Saudi population", vol. 17, Annals of Saudi medicine, pp. 302-306, 1997.
[22] L.M. Brotman, S. Dawson-McClure, K.-Y. Huang, R. Theise, D. Kamboukos, J. Wang, G. Ogedegbe, "Early childhood family intervention and long-term obesity prevention among high-risk minority youth", vol. 129, Pediatrics, pp. e621-e628, 2012.
[23] A.R. Al-Nuaim, E.A., Bamgboye, A. Al-Herbish,"The pattern of growth and obesity in Saudi Arabian male school children. International journal of obesity and related metabolic disorders", vol. 20, Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, p. 1000, 1996.
[24] B. Abalkhail, "Overweight and obesity among Saudi Arabian children and adolescents between 1994 and 2000", vol. 8, Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal, pp. 470-479, 2002.
[25] H. M. Al-Hazzaa, "Prevalence and trends in obesity among school boys in Central Saudi Arabia between 1988 and 2005", vol. 28, Saudi medical journal, p. 1569, 2007.
[26] M. I. El Mouzan, P. J. Foster, A. S. Al Herbish, A. A. Al Salloum, A. A. Al Omer, M. M. Qurachi, T. Kecojevic, "Prevalence of overweight and obesity in Saudi children and adolescents", vol. 30, Annals of Saudi Medicine, pp. 500-2, 2010.
[27] H. M. Al-Hazzaa, N. A. Abahussain, H. I. Al-Sobayel, D. M. Qahwaji, A. O. Musaiger, "Lifestyle factors associated with overweight and obesity among Saudi adolescents", vol. 12, BMC Public Health, 12(1), pp. 354, 2012.
[28] H. G. Koenig, F. Al Zaben, M. G. Sehlo, D. A. Khalifa, M. S. Al Ahwal, N. A. Qureshi, Al-Habeeb, A. D., "Mental health care in Saudi Arabia: Past, present and future", vol. 4, Open Journal of Psychiatry, pp. 113-130, 2014.
[29] F. E. Ahmed, M. Alrowaily, "Pattern of anxiety and depression among Secondary school students in Riyadh, KSA", vol. 3, The International Journal of Indian Psychology, pp. 62-68, 2015.
[30] A. R. Asal, M. M. Abdel-Fattah, "Prevalence, symptomatology, and risk factors for depression among high school students in Saudi Arabia", vol. 12, Neurosciences (Riyadh), pp. 8-16, 2007.
[31] H. Raheel, "Depression and associated factors among adolescent females in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a cross-sectional study". vol. 6, International Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2015.
[32] J. Y. Ghazwani, S. N. Khalil, R. A. Ahmed, "Social anxiety disorder in Saudi adolescent boys: Prevalence, subtypes, and parenting style as a risk factor", vol. 23, Journal of Family and Community Medicine, pp. 25-31, 2016.
[33] K.S. Al-Gelban, "Depression, anxiety and stress among Saudi adolescent school boys, vol. 127, Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health, pp. 33-37, 2007.
[34] K.S. Al-Gelban, H.S. Al-Amri, O.A. Mostafa, "Prevalence of depression, anxiety and stress as measured by the depression, anxiety, and stress scale (DASS-42) among secondary school girls in Abha, Saudi Arabia", vol. 9, Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, pp. 140-147, 2009.
[35] R. Holt, "Diagnosis, epidemiology and pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus: and update for psychiatrists", vol. 184, British Journal of Psychiatry, pp. s55-s63, 2004.
[36] International Diabetes Federation, "Diabetes Atlas", 7th edition, p. 16, 2015.
[37] Diabetes UK, "List of countries by incidence of type 1 diabetes ages 0 to 14", 2016,
[38] A. Alherbish, M. El-Mouzan, A. Al-Salloum, M. Al-Qurachi. M. A. Al-Omar, "Prevalence of type 1 diabetes mellitus in Saudi Arabian children and adolescents" vol. 29, Saudi Medical Journal, pp. 1285-1288, 2008.
[39] A. A. Al-Khader, "Impact of diabetes in renal diseases in Saudi Arabia", vol. 16, Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, pp.739-742, 2001.
[40] R. L. Al-Mutairi, A.A. Bawazir, A. E. Ahmed, H. Jradi, "Health beliefs related to diabetes mellitus prevention among adolescents in Saudi Arabia", vol. 15, Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, pp. e398-e404, 2015.
[41] S. A. Meo, M. A. Alkahlan, M. A. Al-Mubarak, M. S. Al-Obayli, B. A. Melaibary, A. N. Bin Dous, A. I. Alhassoun, AI., "Impact of type 1 diabetes mellitus on academic performance", vol. 41, Journal of International Medical Research, pp. 855-888, 2013.
[42] M. Desrocher, J. Rovet, "Neurocognitive correlates of type 1 diabetes mellitus in childhood", vol. 10, Child Neuropsychology, pp. 36-52, 2004.
[43] N. A. Abahussain, A. G. El-Zubier, "Diabetes knowledge among self reported diabetic female teachers: Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia", vol. 12, Journal of Family Community Medicine, pp 43-48, 2005.
[44] Saudi Gazette, "Kingdom 'struggling to tackle several health challenges' ", 23 April 2014.
[45] I. H. Al-Ayed, "Mothers' knowledge of child health matters: Are we doing enough?", vol. 17, Journal of Family Community Medicine, pp. 22-8, 2010.
[46] A. S. AlMakadmaa, S. Ramisetty-Miklerb, "Student, school, parent connectedness, and school risk behaviors of adolescents in Saudi Arabia", vol. 2, International Journal of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, pp. 128-135, 2015.
[47] F. S. AlBuhairan, H.Tamim, M. Al Dubayee, S. AlDhukair, S. Al Shehri, W. Tamimi, C. El Bcheraoui, M. E. Magzoub, N. de Vries, I. Al Alwan, "Time for an Adolescent Health Surveillance System in Saudi Arabia: Findings From “Jeeluna” ", vol. 57, Journal of Adolescent Health, pp.263-269, 2015.
[48] E. Gawwad, "Teacher's knowledge, attitudes and Management Practices about Diabetes Care in Riyadh's schools", vol. 83, Journal of Egypt Public Health Association, pp. 205-222, 2008.
[49] N. A. Al Aloola, M. Saba, L. Nissen, H. A. Alowairdy, B. Saini, "Asthma Education for Primary School Teachers in Saudi Arabia – A Needs Analysis", vol. 2, Health Behavior and Policy Review, pp. 470-484, 2015.
[50] J. M. Alqahtani, "Knowledge and practice of schoolteachers towards students with epilepsy in Khamis Mushate, Southern Saudi Arabia", vol.22, Journal of Family Community Medicine, pp.163-168, 2015.
[51] M. H. M. Abu-Rasain, D. I. Williams, "Peer counselling in Saudi Arabia", vol. 22, Journal of Adolescence, pp. 493-502, 1999.
[52] N. G. Al-Ghamdi, B. Riddick, "Principals' perceptions of the school counselor role in Saudi Arabia", vol. 33, Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, pp. 347-360, 2011.
[53] D. Champion, The paradoxical kingdom: Saudi Arabia and the momentum of reform. New York: Columbia University Press.
[54] T. Alotaibi, "Challenging existing views of the role of school counsellors in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia", 8th Annual Keele Counselling Psychology Conference, Keele, United Kingdom, March 2014.
[55] T. Alotaibi, "Differentiating cultural, social, and psychological attitudes towards school counselling in Saudi Arabia", InPACT (International Psychological Applications Conference and Trends), Porto, Portugal, April 2014
[56] T. Alotaibi, "School counselling in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia". BACP Children & Young People, pp.4-9, September 2014.