LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The municipal government recently convened education stakeholders from both the private and public education institutions in the municipality to formulate a comprehensive mental health program to address the rapidly increasing mental health issues among students who had been heavily impacted by the prevailing enforcement of the various levels of community quarantines to contain the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the municipality.
Guidance counselors from the different elementary, secondary and higher education institutions, both private and public, convened to discuss and agree among themselves the appropriate programs in the short, medium and long-term to deal with the reported increase in mental health problems among students following the implementation of blended learning to allow the learners to pursue their studies amidst the pandemic.
Mayor Romeo K. Salda reported that the municipal government is inclined to provide the appropriate support to the formulated comprehensive mental health program to help the students cope with the difficult situation caused by the pandemic.
He said that the municipal government will await the final output of the recent gathering so that it will be evaluated and assessed on what will be the counterpart of the concerned government agencies and the municipality in rolling out the aforesaid program.
Earlier, several incidents of alleged suicide involving students have been reported in the municipality over the past several weeks that caused concerned education stakeholders to be alarmed due to the reported reason for the students taking their lives is their difficulty in attending to their modules.
Salda joined the people and officialdom of the municipality in expressing their heartfelt condolences and sympathy to the bereaved family of the young suicide victims, saying that there should be an in-depth investigation on these to ascertain the real reason why the youngsters aged 13 to 17 decided to take their lives so that the necessary interventions can be provided to their families.
According to him, reports on the reason why the youngsters took their lives is due to the difficulties they are encountering in dealing with their modules, aside from the fact that they seem helpless in trying to hurdle the challenges of the implementation of the blended learning by the education department.
The mayor admitted that there might be other similar incidents that had not been reported to the authorities because their families and relatives decided not to publicize the same as it is purely private.
He claimed that guidance counselors are experts in dealing with this kind of situation that is why they were the ones who were tapped to formulate the appropriate comprehensive mental health program that will be rolled out soonest to prevent the possible increase in the number of suicide incidents among students living in the different barangays. By HENT