In responding to Non-Constituency Member of Parliament, Daniel Goh, Acting Minister for Education, Ng Chee Meng, said that all school counsellors are trained to carry out suicide risk assessment. However, given the dynamic psychological state of the child, such an assessment “is not foolproof”.
Writing in his Facebook, NCMP Daniel Goh appreciated the Acting Education Minister saying Mr Ng gave a comprehensive reply to his parliamentary question and that “Respect to Mr Ng,” said the NCMP.
The Workers’ Party member was however not satisfied with one point in the first part of the Minister’s answer where Ng said that school leaders and staff would check on the emotional well-being of the student before police investigation is conducted, and this would determine whether a suicide risk assessment would be done.
“I wanted to ask if the school counsellor is involved in this pre-assessment and whether the school leaders are trained to do such pre-assessments,” Assoc Prof Goh said.
But he did not ask the supplementary question because in the second part of his answer, Mr Ng said that MOE is participating in the review of police procedures in dealing with minors and is open to the possibility of school counsellors being present during school investigations.
“Since school counsellors are trained to carry out suicide risk assessment, their observations during investigations could lead them to raise the need for suicide risk assessment,” the opposition parliamentarian noted in urging concerned Singaporeans to wait for the results of the review of procedures.
The Associate Professor however did not fail to poke the Acting Minister’s reply as well. Referring to Mr Ng’s reply that school counsellors suicide risk assessments “are not foolproof” statement Mr Goh said, “come on, of course, it is risk mitigation, risk cannot be eliminated.”