KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 — About 12.55 per cent, or 102,712 Years Five and Six primary school students, out of 818,430 students screened between June and August this year for psychosocial wellbeing have depressive symptoms, according to Education Minister Mohd Radzi Md Jidin.
Mohd Radzi said of the total year five and six students screened over the three-month period, about 87.45 per cent or 715,717 students have been classified as no risk as they do not show any signs of prolonged sadness, depression, or disinterest in committing to additional work.
The education minister said primary school students who are identified as at-risk are given interventions via relaxation and mindfulness activities, counselling sessions as well as parent/guardian consultation to help students improve their coping skills.
“Students who are at risk often lack the skills to manage their emotions well when faced with challenging situations. While students who are identified as non-risk usually have general interventions such as healthy lifestyle practice guidelines,” Mohd Radzi said in a written parliamentary reply yesterday in response to Tampin MP Hasan Bahrom’s question on the matter.
The Ministry of Education’s (MOE) Healthy Minds School Programme, carried out in partnership with the Ministry of Health (MOH), includes psychosocial screening in schools to detect students who may have depressive symptoms during the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mohd Radzi said a total of 1,737,755 secondary school students, including Form Six students, have also taken part in the screening, though he did not provide any figures of the screening results.
“For secondary school students who have been identified as having early signs of anxiety and depression, they will be required to undergo intervention using MOE’s Healthy Mind Module and MOH’s Adolescent Mental Health Module.
“These interventions are aimed at improving their stress management skills, problem-solving skills, and managing their emotions well so that they can be in a safe environment,” Mohd Radzi said.