*** ----> Schools in Bahrain need enhanced counseling services amid growing mental health concerns | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Schools in Bahrain need enhanced counseling services amid growing mental health concerns

TDT | Manama                                                      

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

The crucial issue of school counselling took centre stage during Tuesday’s session at the Bahrain Council of Representatives.

The escalating need for more comprehensive counselling services in schools has become imperative, particularly due to the recent surge in serious mental health and social issues attributed to social media’s impact.

MP Mohammed Al-Hossaini brought this concern to the forefront in a passionate exchange with the Minister of Education, His Excellency Dr. Mohammed bin Mubarak Juma.

Al-Hossaini highlighted the increasing prevalence of social phobia and mood-related disorders, such as anxiety and depression, among school students in our educational institutions.

Echoing Al-Hossaini’s sentiment, the Minister acknowledged the need for additional counsellors, stating, “Currently, 613 counsellors are serving our schools for this academic year.

We ensure that at least one counsellor is available in each school to cater to the students’ needs and oversee behavioural concerns.

The assignment of counsellors is carefully determined by the student population of each school, taking into account the workload, the school’s characteristics, and the educational priorities at various levels.”

Moreover, Al-Hossaini emphasised the importance of nurturing leadership qualities in public schools, advocating for a balanced focus that extends beyond mere academic accomplishments.

Staggering numbers

Dr. Juma, affirming confidentiality in dealing with student issues, provided some staggering numbers for this academic year: 69 mental health cases and 60 family-related cases were addressed by counsellors, highlighting the often interconnected nature of these issues.

Additionally, the minister reported 197 cases of violence and harm inflicted on others.

Illustrating how schools can serve as safe havens for students to escape from challenging home environments, the minister added that managing students struggling with social and emotional issues also involves addressing their home environments and parental engagement.

He cited cases of self-harm tendencies in students where counsellors had to resort to legal channels to compel negligent parents to take responsibility.