Children’s Advocate concerned about mental health challenges facing Jamaican children
A number of Jamaican children are facing mental health challenges, are concerned about what’s happening in their homes and have considered suicide.
These are among the findings of a report on the operations of the child and teen help line ‘SafeSpot’.
SafeSpot is a division of the Office of the Children’s Advocate (OCA).
The OCA examined the 2,345 contacts made to the helpline in 2022.
For that period more girls than boys reached out to the helpline.
Children’s Advocate Diahann Gordon Harrison, who revealed the figures, indicated that a high number of those who contacted the helpline had mental health challenges.
She said children also highlighted that they had suicidal thoughts, and some had attempted to take their lives.
There is also concern about the number of children who show self-harming behaviour.
Most of the children who contacted the helpline were from St. Catherine, followed by Kingston and St. Andrew.
Portland saw more boys than girls seeking help.
While children of all ages contacted SafeSpot, the age groups most frequently heard from were 16 to 17-year-olds and 13 to 15-year-olds.
Most of the children preferred using WhatsApp messenger.
Many children who reached out to SafeSpot also described themselves as being from poor backgrounds or living in poverty. Some revealed they were in conflict with the law and needed guidance and support.