A good support system consisting of parents, peers and teachers is required to help youth face adolescent problems. This, they should do by making youth realise that “this too shall pass” to prevent suicides and murders. This realisation would help them look at a better future despite their immediate emotional state.
This was expressed by City Police Commissioner A.K. Viswanathan during a discussion with college representatives here on Wednesday.
The discussion began with the college representatives sharing the best practices followed by them and ended with suggestions.
Some of the practices the colleges followed included: tutoring / mentoring system where one teacher was responsible for the emotional and social well being of a group of 20 or 30 students, organising regular parent-teacher meetings, sending SMS alerts to parents if the student was absent, banning of mobile phones, etc.
Welcoming these measures, the Commissioner, however, said these were not enough for addressing the suicidal and violent tendency of students when it came to rejection or failure in love.
He suggested that the mentoring aspect be given wider focus to include these issues too. Sensitising the student on love, sex, and sanctity of marriage, was stressed.
College principals and teachers expressed their difficulty in not being able to reach out to students regarding certain sensitive issues. Counselling helped only till a certain stage.
When the student was at the nadir of helplessness and inching towards suicide or murder, he almost always sent some signal to his peers. The teachers said that if this signal was identified and reported before too much time had lapsed, many lives could be saved. They lamented on the poor response from parents when told about their wards’ wrong doings or emotional instability. Most of the time parents tried to defend the behaviour of the student. Hence it was suggested that parents also be counselled along with the adolescent.
The Commissioner called for utmost care in handling students because they were at a vulnerable stage between childhood and adulthood.
A friendly approach should be tried and only in extreme cases should moral policing be brought in. Laws and enforcement were not solutions to emotional problems, he added. The suggestions (see graphics) would be compiled and sent to all college principals for action to “save lives”.