In a significant move to address the growing concerns of student self-harm, the Ministry of Education (MoE) has introduced a set of draft guidelines named 'UMMEED'—an acronym for 'Understand, Motivate, Manage, Empathise, Empower, Develop.' These guidelines aim to foster a supportive environment in schools and enhance sensitivity to students who may be at risk.
Creating a Safety Net with UMMEED: The guidelines propose the formation of a School Wellness Team (SWT) under the guidance of the school principal. This team, equipped with crisis management skills, plays a pivotal role in identifying and responding to students displaying warning signs of self-harm. The emphasis is on immediate action and intervention.
Year-Long Orientation for Stakeholders: To bolster awareness and understanding of student suicides, the guidelines advocate a year-long orientation for teachers and family members. These sessions are designed to empower various stakeholders, including educators and parents, with the knowledge and skills needed to address and prevent self-harm among students.
Rapid Response for Student Well-being: The recommendations stress the importance of swift responses when a student exhibits warning symptoms or attempts self-harm. The guidelines outline specific measures that individuals within the school or members of the wellness team can undertake in such critical situations.
Why UMMEED Matters:
1. Preventing Student Self-Harm: UMMEED focuses on creating a proactive approach to identify and support students who may be vulnerable to self-harm.
2. Building a Supportive Environment: The guidelines aim to foster an environment where students feel heard, understood, and supported by both their peers and educators.
3. Empowering Stakeholders: Through year-long orientations, UMMEED empowers teachers and family members with the tools to recognize signs of distress and take necessary actions.
4. Crisis Management: The formation of School Wellness Teams ensures a structured and rapid response to crisis situations, placing student well-being at the forefront.
UMMEED serves as a ray of hope, outlining practical steps to enhance the mental health and well-being of students. By integrating these guidelines, schools can become safe spaces where students receive the support they need to navigate challenges and build a resilient future. The concerted efforts of educators, parents, and school wellness teams under UMMEED can pave the way for a healthier and happier student community