‘Students face psychological issues’

Nadi Centre for Special Education students during the International Day against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking in Nadi. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

STUDENTS are facing more psychological issues in schools and this is reflected in the number of mental health cases with 4393 reported last year, compared with 1701 in 2017.

This was revealed by Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Ministry welfare officer John Powell during an International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking event at the Nadi Centre for Special Education yesterday.

He said the increase by 2692 cases should send alarm bells ringing for all stakeholders, especially parents and guardians.

“These are children who have attempted to commit suicide, children on suspension, children who had to find other schools, school dropouts and mental illness,” he said.

“Parents and caregivers — children resort to these for many reasons.

“However, in order to avoid this type of behaviour we must ensure that children are raised in an environment that is free from abuse and they should have more of love and acceptance.

“We need to be more vigilant in how we bring up our children. We should create an environment of love and respect at home as this will have a positive impact on their development.

“A home environment where abuse and neglect is common will create trauma in the children.

“I urge you parents to love and respect your children as they are God’s gift to you.

“Spend quality time with them, communicate with them, play with them and hug them every day before they go to school.”

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