Mon | Mar 27, 2023

Create a supportive environment

Published:Thursday | February 9, 2023 | 12:37 AM


I write regarding an article published in The Jamaica Observer on February 4, titled ‘Schools kick boy out’. The treatment of individuals with mental illness in educational institutions is unfair and inadequate. This should not be the case, as a condition indiscernible to the human eye should not result in this boy being sent home. These institutions need to have better practices and guidelines for handling these types of situations. Sending a child home due to a mental health condition is not a solution and only exacerbates the problem. It must be understood that for persons with these disorders who are bullied or attacked in any way, their first reaction would most likely be an attack or a confrontation filled with anger.

The Jamaican Government should take greater action to improve the treatment of individuals who present with mental illnesses. Implement actions such as creating a school that will accommodate them or making it mandatory for all practitioners to be trained in mental health no matter the degree. The invisibility of mental illness should not lead to discrimination or neglect, and society needs to address this issue. The student took the matter into his own hands because nothing was being done even after he kept reporting. And he was suspended. Many of these institutions do not want to deal with these individuals. Stop letting them suffer because of the invisible sickness. Do something now or these people will forever suffer.