Vancouver School Board trustees want teachers to have strong model to help depressed students 0
Non-Partisan Association trustees on the Vancouver Board of Education introduced a motion to make teachers more “confident” in reaching out to children at risk of suicide, saying the current model doesn’t incorporate consistent training.
NPA’s Ken Denike said a list of recommendations from the BC Coroners Service four years ago to combat suicide rates have yet to be adopted by the board. The trustees expect to hear the motion at their Nov. 5 meeting.
“We need to do this in a somewhat more consistent fashion, not just when something happens like Amanda (Todd)’s situation,” he said of the 15-year-old Port Coquitlam girl who killed herself last week after years of bullying and being stalked online.
Coroners made 17 recommendations after noting the majority of 81 children in B.C. who committed suicide between January 2003 and December 2007 had “reached out to someone for help before their deaths.”
Many of the recommendations targeted the provincial government, with others directed at in-school “screening” or training programs.
“One of the critical matters in all this is the ability of the teachers who are dealing with these kids on a continuing basis to discern what the problem is,” Denike said.
“There is a problem and it’s in a situation where it’s becoming critical for the teachers to recognize someone has to intervene.”