Children’s authority said parents should look for changes in behaviours

Children’s authority said parents should look for changes in behaviours

The Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago said it is saddened by the reported death of a 14- year-old girl who allegedly committed suicide.

The Authority said that while an autopsy report is yet to confirm the cause of death, they want to guide parents and guardians on signs they can look out for, regarding changes in their children’s behaviour.

“Children communicate using emotions and or behaviours, as such, parents should to be attuned to their child’s emotional state as well as their changing behaviours.”

Once a change is recognized in their mood, behaviour or if they appear to be in emotional or psychological distress, “you should in the first instance speak to your child, also allow them the space to speak about how they feel. Additionally, and very importantly, seek professional help.”

According to a statement from the authority, parents and guardians are encouraged to engage in open communication with their children about how they are coping with the stay-at-home measures, during this time of COVID-19 where children are away from school, their friends and social circle.

The Authority added that parents and guardians should work out a plan with their children about coping during these times.

“This will allow children to openly share their concerns and will assist parents in identifying if there is a need to seek professional support for their children.”

Notwithstanding, however, parents and guardians might also be overwhelmed because of COVID-19 and the stay-at-home measures. This may lead to a myriad of other challenges which may cause parents not to recognise the signs and symptoms when a child might be in distress.

The Authority is calling on parents and guardians to take a moment, seek help for
family members and their social environment, and to call any one of the numbers below for further professional assistance:

 Child Line – 800-4321
 Lifeline (suicide) – 645-2800
 Families in Action – 628-2333
 National Family Services Division – 624-8218/627-1163
 National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-SAVE
 Student Support Services Division: 724-1010

The Children’s Authority said it stands ready to assist.

“You are not alone. Child Protection Is ‘Everybody’s Business’ and if child abuse is suspected, the public should call the Authority at 996 or the Police at 999.