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Parents could be source of students’ bad behaviour too, says mental expert

Published: 
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Dr Albert Persad

Education Minister Anthony Garcia may not have considered the parenting of the aggressors involved in the violence at the Siparia West Secondary School before labelling the acts as ‘criminal.”

This was the view yesterday of South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) Director of Health Dr Albert Persad, who said children’s behaviour is predicated on the environment their parents provide.

Persad was addressing SWRHA managers and supervisors at a mental health workshop in commemoration of World Mental Health Day. Under the theme “Mental Health in the Workplace,” Persad said parents have to be careful not to allow workplace stresses to enter their homes, as it can have consequences on their families.

“Look at what happened in a school yesterday. I noticed that the Minister of Education said it was a criminal offence and therefore do what is necessary. I think he is missing the ball, in that there is always something else behind it,” Persad said.

“The behaviour of our children sometimes is really predicated by parents who are living in a stressful situation. That is translated right down the line to the children, and yet the parent says ‘I don’t know what wrong with this child you know’ when in fact it should be, ‘I wonder what is really wrong with the parents?’”

With one in four adults expected to experience mental health issues at some time, Persad said it leads to a reduction of efficiency and productivity in the workplace. Stressing that it was important for employers to address workplace stressors, he said employees should look out for each other and when necessary, suggest that their affected colleagues seek professional help.

He said many times his colleagues would speak about how busy their lives were and how they would get home at 8 pm to continue work.

“Listen, I know we have a lot of work to do, but we also have to be responsible persons. We need to manage our time properly. There is another life, isn’t there?” he said.

Persad added: “My advice to you is as much as possible, keep your work in here.

From the time it gets out there and starts to get into your kitchen and TV room and all of that, and then there is a price to pay in terms of your mental health if nothing else.”

Of the 474, 610 citizens in the SWRHA’s catchment area, regional manager of Psychiatry/Mental Health Pooran Sankar revealed that in 2016, the psychiatric population was 11,658, in which 5,712 were men and 5,946 were women.