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EDITORIAL: 7-year-old Victim Of Suicide Begs Question: What Are We Doing Wrong?

EDITORIAL: 7-year-old Victim Of Suicide Begs Question: What Are We Doing Wrong?
December 01
12:49 2017

A seven-year-old is the latest Fijian to commit suicide. This is worrying and this begs the question what are we doing wrong?

What drove this child to take this step? The death of this girl raises some serious questions about our role as parents and guardians.

It raises some serious questions about what we are exposing our children to. It raises a serious question about what children are being subjected to, which drives them to commit suicide.

Parents and guardians need to step up. We need to take responsibility of our children and wards. Fiji sadly does not have the culture of counselling.

Very few people would take their children to professional counsellors for evaluation, for discussions.

Maybe this is something we as a country could delve deeper into.

If counselling could save lives of our children than why not?

Attorney-General and Minister responsible for Education Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has highlighted on several occasions that even within schools we do not have professional counsellors.

The role of a counsellor in schools is normally given to one of the faculty members who do not necessarily have the qualification to be a professional counsellor. Perhaps this is where we could start.

Every school – primary, secondary and tertiary should look at employing professional counsellors. Having an independent adult to speak to could be what our children need.

We cannot assume that our child is telling us everything. We should not assume that we know everything that is going on in our child’s life.

The pressures of millennials are different to what you and I faced growing up. And when the pressure gets too much to handle, they should be able to reach out to a professional. The counsellor should not be a member of the teaching faculty.

Sessions between the counsellor and the child needs to be kept strictly confidential, unless the counsellor suspects that the child may self-harm.

No child will open up to a teacher, fearing that he or she will be judged. This is why we need professional independent counsellors.

We cannot turn a blind eye and feel that something is all right and that our children do not need to see therapists or counsellors.

If a seven-year-old is committing suicide in Fiji, something is definitely not right. We can take steps to ensure more of our children do not commit suicide as the easy way out.

And we need to take steps now.

If you need to talk to someone call Lifeline Fiji on 132 454.

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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