We should listen to our teenagers’ silent pleas for help

The tragic passing of a young student from Queen Elizabeth College (QEC), who had so much to look forward to, has re-ignited the debate over teenage suicide in particular.  Much has been written about the causes of teenage suicide but it begs to be asked about the measures that are being taken to counter it in Mauritius. Mental health still remains a stigmatised issue here, which might be an underlying reason why many are reluctant to knock at the doors of psychological assistance. Our teenagers going through the daunting phase of adolescence can find it incredibly difficult to cope with the pressures of carving an identity of their own, studies, family expectations and emotional havoc that this entails.  
This is the second case of suicide that has afflicted the QEC this year, leading some to question the present education system in place.  Are we stifling our children in a barren system based solely on academic grades? Is there really a holistic approach to education in Mauritius? Or have we turned into robotised people struggling to keep up with the hard pace of life, unable to connect with others and listen to their silent pleas for help? The list of unanswered questions is non-exhaustive but that will never bring back those lost lives. So, instead of playing the blame game, it is high time for everyone to get their acts together now.
The support of psychologists in our present educational system is unfortunately underrated and this attitude urgently needs to change.  Young girls and boys who require someone with a sympathetic ear to listen to their hearts should be empowered to seek the support they require.  Since teenagers spend a fair amount of their time at school, educators should be given the training to recognise the warning signs of depression among youngsters and guide them accordingly.  The authorities should break that brick wall surrounding the stigma of mental health issues and organise aggressive sensitisation campaigns about suicide.  It is everyone’s business to be actively concerned and engaged; governmental and non-governmental organisations, schools, parents and the teenagers themselves. That sense of complacency that ‘it will never happen to us’ needs to stop at all costs.  Each loss of life in such circumstances is one too many.  
Most essentially, the whole concept of success needs to be re-defined.  Success in life does not exclusively mean academic success and stakeholders need to be aware that life fulfilment happens in different ways for different people.  What we should all learn to do is to listen more.  Over the years, this has become a lost art.  We have become modern prisoners trapped in the shackles of modern times, running after material fulfilment, obliterating the wondrous powers of empathy.  Let us make the effort of listening, sharing and guiding those souls who have found themselves at crossroads. If we close our eyes for a second and make the effort, we will hear all those silent screams for help…and can step in before it is too late.


Commentaires

As an educator , this article reflects exactly how our education system is; where focus is on academic achievements, disregarding the emotional needs of students, 100 % agree with you Ms. Bhawna, very well reflected, hats off... only those who are in d stream of education can rily appreciate such an article which reflects reality!

Bhawna Atmaram,it sounds as if that you were never a teenager,yourself.

We do not know the circumstance/s that has/have led to this sixteen year old girl to end her life in such a dramatic way.

Was she the subject of some sort of blackmail?

Was jealousy involved?

Was she taking a particular anti-depressant that has in fact pushed many people around the world to commit suicide?

Etc.Etc.

Basically any form of generalisation should be avoided at all costs.

Over one million people die by suicide worldwide each year. The global suicide rate is 16 per 100,000 population. On average, one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds somewhere in the world. Global suicide rates have increased 60% in the past 45 years.
International Suicide Statistics - 2013--------------------
Miss Atmaram ------This is an extremely complex situation .No magic wand here.By advocating these concerns you cast a sense of deep inner feelings.Hence my respect for your motivation about this fallout in our country.But I do remain perplex/doubtful to a positive outcome through your lines.I might be wrong.Wishing you well.The future will tell.
Thank you.
Peace on Earth.
J.

Definitely NOT "we" should listen! Who are you to dictate to us??? Ignorant!!!

get your fact right.

Who are we????

Those others than "we" are way ahead and our children are well educated and responsible member of the society, so would be their subsequent generation be!

Only you and your generation are doomed!

You should equally look after YOU children to be responsible member of the society, Yes Y"OU" indeed.

We do not agree to be lead by the blind like you are." the blind only lead the blind" just like yourself! where you got your education is simply one million years behind.

Now! get real!

Gestalt/freud

I will only add: May God Bless You. :)

Tout est dit. D'accord complètement,
Une enseignante.