The Programmes Manager of BasicNeeds-Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) committed to the improvement of mental health care, Mr Dokurugu Adam Yahya, has urged guidance and counseling coordinators in educational institutions to make their services more accessible to students.
That, he said, would help to prevent the escalating number of students committing suicide in the country in recent times.
He said many students could not access guidance and counseling services in their schools due to certain impediments that made it difficult for the recipients to approach the counselors.
Mr Yahya was speaking in Tamale at a sensitisation workshop on common mental health disorders organized for guidance and counseling coordinators, school health coordinators and special education needs coordinators selected from junior and senior high schools in the Northern Region.
He said it was worrying that of late many students at all levels of education were committing suicide, a situation, he indicated, could be averted if students were given the needed guidance and counseling services.
According to Mr Yahya, the current issues of suicide in schools were an indication that something was going wrong.
“It is possible students have challenges and they either do not know who to talk to or they do not have anybody to talk to within the institution they find themselves,” he said.
The workshop was to equip the participants with more information on common mental health disorders.
Mr Yahya said one of the key strategies of BasicNeeds-Ghana was to improve mental healthcare services among women and the youth, particularly among junior and senior high school students.
The Guidance and Counseling Coordinator of St Anne’s Senior High School in Damongo, Rev. Sr. Juliana Atuuna, encouraged her colleagues to exhibit qualities that would enable students to confide in them.
According to her, most students did not seek guidance and counseling due to the lack of trust and confidence.
She, however, implored students not to keep their problems to themselves but to seek help from their teachers, especially the guidance and counseling coordinators.