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Monday September 2, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday September 2, 2013 MYT 7:34:06 AM
by christina tan
YONG PENG: The Education Ministry needs to set up a child psychology unit to address mental health issues among students in schools, said MCA Youth chief Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong.
He said if situation permitted, the ministry should start recruiting more child psychologists as one of the measures to help students.
He said that counselling teachers alone were inadequate to address psychiatric issues and that it was time to go to the next level and think about establishing an advanced psychology unit dedicated to mental health services for students.
“There is a difference between child psychologists and counselling teachers, as the former requires more extensive training in order to give appropriate advice and treatment,” he said when asked to comment on recent suicide cases involving students in the country.
Dr Wee, a former deputy Education Minister, said when he was with the ministry he had come across several suicide cases involving students.
Some of the suicide cases were linked to broken homes, depression, and health problems among others, he said during an interview yesterday.
Dr Wee said in countries such as Singapore, there are about 40 child psychologists working with the Ministry of Education, while Malaysia just relied on counselling teachers.
“Certain issues faced by the students are complicated and only a child psychologist would know how to handle the situation and provide professional intervention.
“I hope the ministry will look into this,” he said.
The latest student suicide took place last Saturday when a Form Five student with a previous psychiatric record was found hanged at his double-storey home at Taman Bandar Baru, Kampar.
The 17-year-old boy from SMK Sentosa hanged himself using his school tie at the house staircase.
Last Wednesday, a 20-year-old college student, believed to be suffering from stress after having to re-sit six exam papers, fell to her death from the 10th floor of a flat in Tanjung Bungah in Penang.
The Tunku Abdul Rahman College (TARC) accounting student was found sprawled in a pool of blood by residents who alerted the police.
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Education, Dr Wee Ka Siong, Education Ministry, suicide
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