MoE to screen students’ mental health via new tool

MoE to screen students’ mental health via new tool

Many students have been struggling with learning away from the classroom and adjusting to online learning.
And, as such, the Ministry of Education is set to roll out a tool in the third school term, to screen students’ mental health and determine if they are suffering from depression.

Government senator Clarence Rambharat, speaking in the Senate yesterday, said the tool will provide a snapshot of users’ mental health and will see if they have depression – it will also identify students who are at risk for this.”

Rambharat added, “This screening tool is an adaptation of three commonly-used rating tools: the mental health inventory, paediatric symptom checklist and diagnostic and statistical measure of mental health.

“The Development, Assessment and Intervention Unit of the Ministry of Education is currently undertaking research to determine the effectiveness and cultural applicability of this tool for students of Trinidad and Tobago before it is considered part of the suite of offerings provided by the Student Support Services Division of the ministry.”

Currently, the ministry’s Assessment and Students Support Services identify issues barring students from receiving an education. But the tool is being developed given the COVID-19 environment.

A Joint Select Committee meetings earlier this year revealed that the Student Support Services Division cannot handle the volume of distress calls from students, who, because of the new learning system have experienced increased seizures and episodes, tantrums because of the prolonged use of the computers over the last year.

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