The DBE, in partnership with the Departments of Health and Social Development, are implementing the Integrated School Health Programme through which health screening of learners is provided. The screening aims to identify and address important health, social and psychological barriers to learning. Identifying health problems early will improve learners’ overall development and assist with their ability to learn at school. Dr Faith Kumalo, Chief Director: Care and Support in Schools, along with Ms Faith Mmola, Deputy Director: Psychosocial Support Directorate, developed material to ensure the psychological health of learners in schools.
Vulnerability is one of the key hindrances to development and learning. Identifying and addressing vulnerability is therefore a key component of creating a conducive learning environment. Suicide and depression is a significant problem in South Africa and affects everyone, including young people. Research indicates that approximately six to eight thousand people commit suicide in South Africa every year.
It is essential that educators are able to identify vulnerable learners and those at risk of depression and suicide early and refer them to the School Based Support Team (SBST) and other service providers (listed below) for correct assistance. The material will be very helpful to parents and teachers.
- SADAG Mental Health Line: 011 234 4837
- Suicide Crisis Line: 0800 567 567/0800 212 223 SMS 31393
- Department of Social Development Substance Abuse Line 24hr helpline: 0800 12 13 14 SMS 32312
- Department of Social Development Gender Based Violence Helpline: 0800 150 150
- Childline Hotline: 08000 55 555