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Suicide counseling

Saturday, September 12, 2015
Fiji Times

The cases of suicide by students are increasing, the recent one involving a pact of three. while we may have sympathized with what had happened, shed a few tears and talked about it for a few days, it does nothing to resolve the problem. We need our kids to understand life as it is, accept challenges, and learn how to deal with weakness, face pressure and remain focused, bold and strong to emerge as winners in the end. Unfortunately we have failed to provide counseling that is completely free from any form of fear, confidentiality and with empathy to their needs.The Ministry of Education should activate counseling in schools not by teachers but by professional counselors who understand how to deal with various levels of pressure that children face every day including both at school and out of school. Children should feel secure and comfortable to talk to these counselors and reveal their issues.  We cannot wait for them to access counseling; instead we should reach out to them. The Ministry of Education could perhaps establish counseling at some strategic time of the year such as pre and post exams and during sports days. Our children need to know of their rights to learn and how Government is standing ready to assist them to develop their lifelong career be it in music, art, sports or anything of their interest and not a few academic subjects taught within the four walls of their classrooms.

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