Govt issues guidelines to prevent suicide among students

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Source: The post is based on the article Govt issues guidelines to prevent suicide among students published in “Indian Express” on 5th October 2023

What is the News?

The Union Ministry of Education has released draft guidelines to prevent student suicides in schools. 

These guidelines are titled UMMEED (Understand, Motivate, Manage, Empathise, Empower, Develop).

What is these draft guidelines to prevent student suicides in schools?

The guidelines aim to serve as directions to schools for enhancing sensitivity, understanding, and providing support in case of reported self-harm.

The guidelines emphasize the belief that “Every Child Matters” and are developed with the goal of preventing student suicides.

They recognize that students facing personal and social challenges may experience sadness, frustration, mood swings, hopelessness, and, in severe cases, engage in self-harm or suicide.

Key Features of these guidelines:

Firstly, it suggests the formation of a School Wellness Team (SwT) led by the school principal.These teams should be trained to handle crisis situations and respond immediately when a student shows signs of self-harm.

Secondly, it recommends an orientation a year for teachers and family members, to help build awareness around student suicides.These orientations will be conducted by the schools for the capacity-building of various stakeholders.

Thirdly, the guidelines outline actions that individuals at the school, or members of the wellness team, should take when they encounter a student displaying warning signs or attempting self-harm.

Fourthly, it has also asked schools to de-stigmatize mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression, suicide, substance abuse through storytelling, rallies, posters, exhibitions and other activities.

Fifthly, the guidelines have also proposed some smaller and immediate changes such as locking all empty classrooms and not having any dark corridors or areas in schools.

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