Letter of encouragement to members on the recent student suicidal cases
Written by Miss Lee Suet Ying, Chairperson of HKAHSS Dated 21/3/2016
The letter was addressed to members of the HKAHSS in response to a string of student suicides in March 2016. Apart from encouraging members to support each other in this crisis period, the letter also highlighted some of the current and planned measures of some schools for their reference.
- The letter suggested members revisit the various guidelines and directions on the issue together with their teachers and to remind them to pay closer attention to their students’ behaviour and emotion. The aim was to allow teachers to give timely support and assistance to students in distress. Students should also be advised that if they notice something unusual happening to their friends, they should seek help from teachers, school social workers or other adults.
- Members were asked to take care of the well-being of their teachers and give them direct and positive reassurance. Teachers should be reminded to look after their own physical and emotional health so they could walk with their students through crisis.
- The letter said this might be a good time for schools to organise parental education activities. Before the Easter holiday, schools might remind parents to pay attention to the emotions of their children. After the holiday, schools could hold workshops for them to strengthen their understanding of the role of parents in protecting their children.
- Some schools might take this opportunity to enhance the ability of students to deal with adversity by organizing activities on healthy living, mental health, stress management and self-improvement in difficult times. Others might set up a ‘wall of encouragement’ for students and teachers to express words of support for each other.
Finally, members were encouraged to refresh themselves during the Easter holiday and work together to overcome the challenges and to support the students in difficulty.