Do not label a child as ‘good for nothing’, ‘duffer’ or ‘hopeless creature’. This is one of the points in a module prepared by KEM Hospital’s psychiatric department for teachers.
The module, compiled last week, has come in the wake of large numbers of student suicides in past few weeks. The three-part module aims at helping teachers understand and intervene to prevent suicides.
“We have conducted three workshops. Two were held with KEM professors and one with medical officers in civic schools,” said Dr Shubhangi Parker, head of KEM’s psychiatry department.
With board exams nearing, 20 public and private schools have asked the department to conduct workshops for them.
The module lists dos and don’ts for teachers and asks them to peep into students’
personal lives to build a rapport with emotionally weak students.
The first part of the audio –visual module highlights problems such as examination pressure, growing competition, teacher-student conflict and unrealistic demands of parents.
The second part deals with identifying the child’s problem by closely watching his behaviour.
If the child starts showing signs of low esteem, hopelessness, has emotional outbursts or complains of stomach ache or other health problems often during school days, these are indications of anxiety and should be addressed.
The third part explains the need for intervention, which could be discussing it with the students, parents or with a counselor or psychiatrist.
“In most cases things go wrong because of lack of timely intervention,” added Dr Parker.