NCDA says latest assessment shows that suicidal thoughts are among issues affecting high school students

The National Council on Drug Abuse, NCDA says its latest rapid situation assessment has shown that suicidal thoughts are among the issues affecting high school students.

Research Analyst at the NCDA, Uki Atkinson says this was among several issues which came up during interviews of students and guidance counsellors.

The students were asked about their perception of issues affecting adolescents.

The assessment done in May, involved 160 grades 8 to 10 students from 13 secondary schools in 13 parishes.

20 guidance counsellors were also interviewed.

Ms. Atkinson notes that an assessment done in march last year, highlighted issues related to lack of devices and connectivity, mental issues, dynamics in the home environment, social isolation and perceived increase in substance use among students and in communities.

Among the findings is that the party drug molly – emerged as one of the more popular substances being used by adolescents.

She says the assessment done just over a year later, brought up a range of issues including verbal /physical aggression and weapon possession and suicidal thoughts.

She says the assessment of students’ concerns, also highlighted a loss of interest in academics and issues related to coping with grief and loss.

Sexualised behaviour and scamming were other issues raised.

She was speaking yesterday (September 1), at a joint press conference between the Education and Health and Wellness ministries on substance use and emergent issues in secondary schools.


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