Ministry of Education responds to suicides in teens in Cayo Print E-mail
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Thursday, 28 January 2016 00:00

Over the past two weeks there have been two suicides and one attempt in the Cayo district. These have claimed the life of two teenaged girls and affected a third. As a result of this seeming spike in these actions that claim the life of young girls, the Ministry of Education is responding to prevent further loss of lives.

Dr. Candy Armstrong, director Education Support Services within the Ministry of Education says that the problem of suicides among female teenaged populations in schools is not new but the issue of trying to harmonize the collaboration between counseling arms in the ministry and in schools is. She says that the ministry is working to partner with counselors in primary and secondary schools to support with intervention plans as well as capacity building for teachers. Additionally the ministry offers training for counselors to be able to identify at-risk behavior in students. They are also helping students come up with their own systems to manage issues in teens as well as work with the ministry of health with referral of cases where problems that present themselves and counselors at the school level cannot be handled are referred to higher specialists in the ministry of health.

At this point with the apparent spike in suicides the ministry has deployed counselors in the Cayo district which are working with schools systems to support in their existing programs. Armstrong says that over the past few years suicide incidents are becoming more prevalent as children are being exposed to issues that happen both at home and in the greater society. She says that the key to curb the effects these have on students is to build capacity so that students become more resistant or less prone to these influences and that schools have a system to support or mitigate when the students fall into these problems and situations.