Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Provide mental health screenings in all schools to help students at risk of psychological crises


Photo of President Yoon Seok-yeol's speech at a press conference announcing the government's policies on mental health at the former Cheong Wa-tae presidential office on December 5.

Seoul, Jan. 3 (Yonhap) — Mental health screenings will be made available in all elementary, middle and high schools from the new semester starting in March in an effort to identify at-risk students early, the Ministry of Education said Wednesday. , amidst the dire problems of suicide and loneliness in old age.

The “Easy Mind Test” consists of about 37 questions about participants' feelings, anxiety, interpersonal relationships, psychological trauma or school life, the ministry said. It is available online so that it can be done anywhere, anytime.

Teachers should encourage students who appear emotionally unstable to take the test. If the results show that the student needs attention, teachers may ask the student or his parents to seek counseling or treatment.

The number of teens and 20s who attempt suicide or harm themselves has increased by 50% to 70% in the past two years, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Emergency Medicine.

From 95 cases per 100,000 people in 2018, 68.9% of youth attempted suicide or self-harm in the last five years, to 160.5 last year. For people in their twenties, their number increased by 49.5% from 127.6 cases per 100,000 people to 190.8 cases over the same period.

Experts point to the disruption in relationships caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the difficulty many find work due to the recession as reasons for the significant increase in the number of young people who self-harm or attempt suicide.

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Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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