20 Sep 2003

25 per cent of Fiji children under 16 said to have mental or emotional health problems

9:14 am on 20 September 2003

A conference of senior educators in Fiji has been told that about 25 percent of children under 16 have mental or emotional heath problems.

Also, 10 to 20 percent of them will need some specialist help at some time.

Radio Fiji reports this has been disclosed at a conference of the Fiji Principals' Association by its president, Brother Palackal Hose George.

Brother George says these problems will not just go away if they are left alone but could even worsen.

He says with the breakdown of social, moral and family values, the problems of children are increasing exponentionally.

Brother George says to deal with this new reality, there is a need to upgrade and expand a range of skills, including that of counselling for mentally and emotionally affected children.