DepEd: Stop connecting distance learning with suicide

Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) – October 21, 2020 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) has warned the public against speculating about incidents involving the suicide of teachers and students.

“Suicide is a sensitive and complex issue. We would like to appeal to everyone to stop directly connecting such to modules or distance learning,” the agency said in a statement on Tuesday.

“We have received police blotters, incident reports, statements of families and initial investigation of the cases, and none of them referred to distance learning as the primary cause,” it added.

The statement was in response to several online posts alleging that the incidents were related to the heavy work or study load as a result of the shift to distance learning this school year.

DepEd urged the public to respect the privacy of the families and warned against those who supposedly use the incidents to discredit the agency.

It said its field offices are in contact with the grieving families to provide urgent relief and assistance.

“We will continue to reach out to our teachers, staff and learners to provide them with vital mental health and psychosocial services. We likewise request everyone to stay in touch and connected with our loved ones during these challenging times,” said the agency.

DepEd earlier conducted webinars and other psychosocial support activities to assist teachers, parents and students in managing mental health concerns.

In its guidelines on required health standards in basic education, the agency said it prioritizes the protection and promotion of the mental health and general welfare of all learners and personnel.

Other interventions include discussion and facilitation of modules related to mental health, operationalization of a guidance office in every school to provide basic mental health services to learners and personnel and the establishment of counseling services through a hotline in school division offices.

For urgent mental health support, the public may contact the National Center for Mental Health 24/7 crisis hotline numbers at 0917 899 8727(USAP) and 989 8727(USAP).

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