Education Ministry boosting counselling services amid suicide concerns
Amid anecdotal reports of signs of suicidal tendencies among children, the Ministry of Education says it has moved to boost its psychosocial support to children and parents.
Two girls, ages 8 and 9, are reported to have committed suicide over the past week.
The Ministry says it recently sponsored teachers and guidance counsellors to participate in training seminars to help guide their response to children who have attempted or who are struggling with thoughts of suicide.
On Monday, Education Minister Fayval Williams visited the home of eight-year-old Naomi Jones, a student of Linstead Primary School, who was allegedly found hanging from the roof of the living room on Saturday, September 26.
She was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
She was set to move on to Grade 3 at the start of the new school year on October 5.
Naomi resided with her mother and stepfather along with two other siblings in Commodore district, Linstead St Catherine.
Teams from the police and Child Protection and Family Services Agency also visited the home on Monday.
Last Saturday, 9-year-old girl Bianca Spence of Rousseau Primary reportedly died from self-inflicted stab wounds.
“This is not something that any one of us would wish to see happening. Naomi was a precious, innocent life with so much promise,” Williams said as she consoled the parents of the little girl.
She also said that amid the COVID-19 crisis, every effort would be made to alert parents to the possible impact on children and their need for extra support as the society goes through the pandemic and schools remain closed.
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