The alumni of Sacred Heart Convent School are actively encouraging teachers, parents and students to take part in social welfare initiatives.

Association of Sacred Heart Alumni (ASHA) along with Jeevan, the only suicide prevention centre in the state, and Tata Math Hospital (TMH), have already taken up the job to train teachers to deal with stress among students, with the intention of putting an end to teen suicides.

ASHA along with TMH has already conducted two orientation programmes for its high school teachers and primary school teachers on the new initiatives of counselling and helping students fight depression. Plans are afoot to train teachers on counselling so that they can handle students easily and also provide them help.

"We have already conduct-ed two orientation programmes for our school teachers and there are plans to conduct more such programmes for teachers of other schools too. We are planning to invite teachers for orientation and workshops which would be conducted by professionals in the field," said G. Lalitha, a member of ASHA.

Although Jeevan had tried to conduct a workshop for parents in a school in April, the latter had hardly shown inter-est. Only 45 out of 350 invitees showed up, pointing out that suicide did not appear to be a serious concern among parents in the city despite the spiralling numbers.

Now TMH and ASHA have shown keen interest in collaborating and helping Jeevan to pave a roadmap to deal with the problem of teen suicide in the steel city. The suicide toll has already reached 68 this year.

Jeevan along with others are believed to be approaching as many schools as possible as well as parents and teachers to let them know about the problem areas as an individual always send signals of depression an stress. The need is just to grasp the problem at the right time.

Experts who deal with such problems believe that there is not one problem that leads to a disastrous step like this. Studies can always be the surface problem but deep down the situation can be complex.

Other schools have also shown interest in conducting a workshop for teachers and empowering them to identify such students who might need help.

"DBMS High School and J.H. Tarapore have also shown interest . So the next programme might be there. This one-year programme will em-power teachers on how to handle difficult situations m a student's life. We are also looking for volunteers. We would also evaluate the programme after a year to analyse how fruitful the initiative is," said C.S. Vaidyanathan.



As published in The Telegraph Jamshedpur on July 2, 2012.