The Founder of Regalo Hope Foundation, Chineye Onuorah, has called for functional guidance and counselling units to encourage students to voice out their struggles.
Onuorah in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday requested the employment of experienced and approachable teachers to handle these units, decrying the absence of functional units in some schools.
“Some schools don’t have an active guidance and counselling unit. Schools should create forums where students are made to open up.
“Schools should launch an anonymous box, not the regular suggestion box, where students should be encouraged to write anonymously or express their personal challenges.
“The unit should be supervised by experienced counsellors, who would check the notes and give talks on the issues raised with personal counselling,” she said.
The Founder stated that her foundation organised a campaign on teen suicide where they had one-on-one discussions with the teenagers.
She disclosed that she discovered through the campaign that some of them had suicidal thoughts.
Onuorah further noted that some of them had low self-esteem due to their teachers' attitudes towards them.
She said the Foundation launched a mentoring club, as an intermediary between schools and the students.
“We stand in the gap for schools that don’t have guidance and counselling units in their schools. The schools approach us and we talk to the students on issues bothering them.
“Some of the students are dying in silence, looking for an avenue or someone to pour out their hearts to; which if they don’t get, may start having suicidal thoughts,” she said.
Onuorah said that the foundation has a ‘Ask the Counsellor’ section in its learning hub where students can write from wherever they are located.
“We address them, and when severe, refer them to a psychologist,” she noted.
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