Education ministry teams up with Choose Life International to offer psychosocial support to children

Education ministry teams up with Choose Life International to offer psychosocial support to children

Thursday, October 01, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information has moved to boost its psychosocial support to children and parents in a partnership with Choose Life International.

This, the ministry said, follows reports that two girls ages eight and nine committed suicide over the past week.

According to the ministry, on Monday, Education Minister Fayval Williams visited the home of eight-year-old Naomi Jones, a student of Linstead Primary School who was allegedly found hanging from the roof of the living room, on Saturday September 26. She was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. She was set to move on to Grade 3 at the start of the newacademic year on October 5.

Teams from the police and Child Protection and Family Services Agency also visited the home on Monday, the ministry said.

Likewise, last Saturday, nine-year-old Bianca Spence of Rousseau Primary reportedly died from self-inflicted stab wounds.

“This is not something that any one of us would wish to see happening. Naomi was a precious, innocent life with so much promise,” Minister Williams said as she consoled the parents of the little girl.

She added that amid the COVID-19 crisis, every effort would be made to alert parents to the possible impact on children and their need for extra support as the society goes through the pandemic and schools remain closed.

The ministry said it recently sponsored teachers and guidance counsellors to participate in training seminars to help guide their response to children who have attempted or who are struggling with thoughts of suicide.

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