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Death Of A School Teacher In Alleged Suicide Shows Mental Health Counselling, Treatment Essential

We know that there has been an upsurge in mental cases at St Giles Hospital. But these are reported cases. What about the unreported cases? The sooner we can have professional mental health officers in schools the better. The service will cater to both students and teachers. Learning in the classroom will be enhanced when struggling students and teachers can access this service.
15 Aug 2020 15:04
Death Of A School Teacher In Alleged Suicide Shows Mental Health Counselling, Treatment Essential

Editorial:

We have talked about the importance of mental health programmes in schools in the past.

Now the suicide death of a school teacher in Vanua Levu has shocked the school community and created fear.

It highlights that the programme must be implemented as soon as possible – no more talking but action is wanted.

This is a close-knit community and no one thought of a potential tragedy like a suicide.

The teacher allegedly took her life in her quarters and the students are living in fear.

The incident has obviously caused emotional and psychological trauma to members of the school community and they need professional counselling to overcome it.

Details of the background of the case are with the Police.

If she had had counselling and shared her worries and anxieties with a mental health expert the tragedy might have been avoided.

She might also have talked about it with a close friend or associate. But these are all academic questions. In the absence of concrete evidence about the events leading up to the death, it’s difficult to pinpoint what went wrong and what action should have been taken.

Stress, depression and worry, if not resolved, can lead to violent behaviour, suicidal tendencies and eventually death. They are triggered by multiple causes like a crisis we are currently facing about the impact of COVID-19

People who are afflicted could be walking around looking normal but there are symptoms that show that they could be suffering from mental health problems like, moodiness, erratic behaviour, anger and even violence. When we see trends like these we should be proactive and suggest that they seek professional help such as counselling.

We know that there has been an upsurge in mental cases at St Giles Hospital. But these are reported cases. What about the unreported cases? The sooner we can have professional mental health officers in schools the better. The service will cater to both students and teachers. Learning in the classroom will be enhanced when struggling students and teachers can access this service.

This rural school could be far away from the centres where this kind of service is easily available. But if professional services were available locally it could have made a positive difference.

It would also help if the community is taught on how to deal with mental health issues.  People should not be ashamed to talk about them. We should eliminate the stigma, stereotypes and prejudices associated with mental health. When we change our mindset and become proactive we will see positive results.

Feedbacknemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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