Nine students on the North Shore of Sydney, Australia exposed to insufficient psychological counseling resources
Since January this year, a total of nine students in schools on the north coast of Sydney have committed suicide. Three people died by suicide last month alone. As the epidemic continues, experts expect the student suicide rate to rise, and warn schools that they need to improve the lack of mental health resources.
Most teenagers who died by suicide were 12th graders. Last month, two students from a private girls' school on the north coast of Sydney committed suicide. They were good friends. A 12th grade student committed suicide in a nearby boys’ school.
In July this year, a 7th grade boy died of suicide in a public secondary school on Sydney’s North Shore.
On Sunday (August 8), the Sunday edition of the Daily Telegraph launched a campaign to call for more mental health resources for schools and more training for teachers. The name of the school affected by the suicide has not been announced to avoid the impact of related families and schools.
Education experts believe that the epidemic has brought a lot of pressure to students, especially for students who take the HSC (Secondary School Graduation Certificate) exam.
The principal of a large secondary school in Sydney said: "If we do not solve this problem, the number of student suicides will increase. Although we are also worried about the epidemic, extremism and other things, self-harm is currently the most troublesome problem. The epidemic affects children. They have had a big impact."
A mental health expert said: "The number of deaths among young people (suicides) has increased in the past few weeks, and this could have been avoided. There have been more unknown suicide attempts in northern Sydney."
NSW health statistics in August show that calls for help regarding mental health have increased by 8%, and the number of cases of suicide or self-injury who go to hospital for treatment has also increased by 11%.
The NSW government said that in order to deal with mental health problems in the epidemic, the government has invested 8000 million Australian dollars.
At present, the suicide rate among young people in NSW has reached the highest level in 15 years. In 2016 and 2017, 54 young people under the age of 18 committed suicide.
It is estimated that there are currently only 1085 psychological counselors in NSW Public Schools. Experts call for a substantial increase in the number of counselors to reduce the probability of mental problems for young people.
Editor in charge: Tian Rui