LA TRINIDAD, Benguet: Seventy-six class advisers of the Benguet National High School (BeNHS) were trained on the early recognition and management of depression and suicide among students early this month.
The seminar-workshop, organized by the guidance and counseling unit of BeNHS in collaboration with the Philippine Mental Health Association Cordillera Administrative Region Chapter, was done in two batches on August 3 and 10 at the Calajo Food House in Betag, La Trinidad.
The activity aimed at capacitating the class advisers on detecting early signs, on ways to approach and communicate with students showing signs of depression, and on devising a suicide prevention protocol in school.
Dr. Genna Hipolito of the Baguio General Hospital Medical Center Psychiatric Department said teachers were in a key position to pick up on the early warning signs manifested by any student.
She said students with suicide ideation were not to be taken lightly, as statistics have shown that suicide is one of the leading causes of death among school age youth.
Mia Cheong, an instructor at the Saint Louis University in Baguio City equipped the participants with facilitating skills, while Irene Alcantara, guidance counselor at Benguet State University, discussed suicide prevention protocol
Alcantara said schools play a positive role in suicide prevention because they offer consistent, direct contact time with large number of students.
BeNHS Principal Nestor Dalay-on and Assistant Principal Madison Kiong articulated their full support for the creation of a school committee on suicide prevention.