Red Marten |
Valencia (EFE).- Abuse, lack of communication with parents who “minimize suffering” and undermined self-esteem can lead to suffering that leads some adolescents to end their lives, a reality that a sort of “command” by psychologists and trainers try to keep them away from the classroom.
And how do they do it? Explaining suicide as a complex phenomenon and facilitating the resources that act as an “emergency button”, all this through workshops that the Valencia City Council has launched in various institutes in the city.
Adolescents with mental health problems not only “talk terrible to themselves”, are hyper-demanding or even scold over their own failures, but preventing suicide in schools is especially complicated in the face of generations that have heard and internalized many terms related to psychology but “they don’t know themselves or their emotions”.
This was expressed in an interview with EFE by the trainers Gracia Vinagre and Roque López, from the Mental Health Federation of the Valencian Community, responsible for the workshops ‘Estem parlant del suïcidi’, which bring students from Secondary and Bachelor of Valencia closer to by virtue of an agreement with the City Council, the “multi-causal” reality of suicide.
On the day the interview is carried out, López and Vinagre give a workshop for the second year of High School and the age “shows”: “Sometimes this job is complicated because the age range from the first year of ESO to the second year of High School is very large. And they have different problems.
But there are common concerns, according to Roque López, especially abuse “in all its forms” and especially bullying, in addition to the difficulty for adolescents who suffer to communicate with their family, friends and teachers. , although the psychologist “is struck, above all, by the issue of families.”
“Sometimes, families greatly minimize their suffering; Instead of empathizing with what one lives at that age, they downplay it and put adult experience in the foreground,” laments Gracia Vinagre, who acknowledges that many times the response from students is: “How am I going to tell my my parents?”.
In addition, in that age group, “self-esteem and self-care are something that is quite neglected,” according to López, at a time when personal perception “is based on achieving things, on becoming someone.” “In addition, they treat themselves horribly, with self-demand, scolding when they do things wrong,” she adds.
In the current generations of adolescents, says Vinagre, the effect of social networks is noticeable and “the way they create self-esteem from comparison constantly comes up in talks.”
Many young people that he has met in his journey through institutes, moreover, “do not know themselves and how their emotions work”, and they know terms from the field of psychology but apply them in a confused or incorrect way: “They tell you ‘I am bipolar because I wake up super happy and then I get angry, I have bipolarity’”.
Despite all the difficulties, he celebrates that the students “are informed, they search, they want to know”, that the centers, in general, are aware of this problem and that the teachers “are too, but they are overwhelmed with work”.
Go beyond the emergency button
“The objective is to increase information about suicide, how it is triggered and the process, with stages from least to greatest suffering, that the person goes through until making that decision,” Gracia Vinagre explains to EFE.
For this reason, among adolescents, he considers it essential to convey “that whoever takes their own life does not do so because they want to stop living, but because they want to stop suffering, and that triggers the act of self-destruction.”
The workshops are focused above all on prevention: “In speaking, listening and offering and asking for help, something that is difficult at this age, because they consider that they can deal with everything in person.”
“We want them to ask themselves what they can do for the other, empathize, understand, but also to understand that we can help others but we cannot save them, because there are many causes that lead to suicide, it is multi-causal,” he explains.
During workshops like the ones that have taken place these weeks at the IES El Cid in Valencia, the Federation trainers inform adolescents of the ways they can resort to in case of need, but, beyond the “emergency button ”, as the psychologist Roque López affirms, it seeks to influence three axes: “That there is not a single cause, that this is not about brave and cowardly and that it is a process, that suicide is not achieved overnight ”.
Anxiety, relationships and uncertainty
The ‘Estem parlant del suïcidi’ program is one of those that the Department of Education of Valencia has launched in terms of mental health in the school population, the result of the conviction that it is a problem “with many manifestations”, as explained by the mayor of the area, Maite Ibáñez.
“Most of the comments or queries to the council are related to anxiety, self-esteem, personal relationships and, in the case of the elderly, with the academic or work future,” he details.
In addition, according to Ibáñez, social and economic inequalities explain a good part of the suffering that leads to suicide: bullying, for example, appears more frequently directed at migrants or the LGTBI collective.
“Suicide is being named and that is very positive, because it helps to raise awareness of the importance of mental health,” considers Ibáñez, who celebrates that “although until now it was a taboo subject,” there is already talk “of figures and tools in order to fight it.”
For all this, from Education they have launched programs such as ‘Live your emotions’, which has already received 280 requests from centers, or the ‘Red EMO’, the network of centers for emotional education in Valencia, to which they have Officially signed up 20 centers but twice as many attended the first meeting.
Along these lines, they also work on the ‘T’escoltem’ program for personalized attention for people between the ages of 12 and 30, and the municipal program against school absenteeism.
“Teachers sometimes do not have technical tools to work on issues such as self-esteem problems, problem behaviors, mental health or suicide, and that is why we try to offer technical advice,” he concludes.