Teaching students how to handle psychological issues: MOE replies

We thank Mr Tang Chung Theng for his feedback ("Teach students how to handle psychological issues"; Forum Online, March 8).

We agree with Mr Tang that it is important to equip students with the skills, knowledge and dispositions to be mentally strong.

Through social and emotional learning taught in schools, students learn how to recognise and manage their emotions, develop care and concern for others, solve problems and seek help.

They also learn coping strategies to manage their anxieties and challenging situations by talking to a trusted adult, making achievable action goals and having enough exercise and rest.

These competencies are taught through Character and Citizenship Education and Form Teacher Guidance Periods.

Apart from lessons, students also practise and apply these competencies in various school contexts, such as co-curricular activities and outdoor activities.

We also have systems and structures to identify at-risk students for early intervention and counselling support.

All schools have at least one school counsellor to provide social and emotional support for students in need.

Schools also work closely with parents and other community partners to support the well-being of the students.

Students who need more specialised intervention will be referred for further professional help.

Our schools strengthen the mental well-being and resilience of students through providing a caring and supportive school environment for students to develop healthy and positive relationships with their teachers, friends and family.

By strengthening positive relationships, we hope to build a network of support so that every student will have someone they can turn to in times of need.

Liew Wei Li (Ms)

Director

Student Development Curriculum Division

Ministry of Education