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October 19, 2017

Social teachers of Almaty learned to work with the parents of teenagers at risk for suicide

USAID/GGIF project “TEENS: affordable and high quality help” held the second module of an advanced training for specialists who work with the parents of teenagers at-risk for suicide from October 5-10 in Almaty.

Training was an effort to approbate the Advanced Training Program for specialists of state institutions who provide psychological and advisory services. Gila Petrov and Moti Pikelner, Israeli experts, conducted the training. The representative of Education Ministry participated in the training.

Training program was very intensive. It summed up workshops of parents groups in 15 schools of Almaty, which applied the program in practice.. “The level of participants has grown since the training held on April. To my mind, that happened due to the greater focus on the practical part of the training. Work with parents at schools is one of the perspective preventive methods to avoid suicide behavior among teenagers”, - said Gila Petrova, trainer from Israel.

Training participant Helen Zanina who works as a teacher-psychologist at gymnasium #27 expressed gratitude to trainers and organizers of the workshop. “We express our gratitude to the trainers and organizers of the training. We received answers to all of the questions we had before, now we have a great motivation to continue this work further. At training sessions we have acquired the knowledge which we were not taught at the University, namely how to work with parents, teenagers”.

Baitukova Bayan, representative from the Education Ministry, appeared to be one of the active workshop participants. “I’ve joined training not from the very beginning, only from the second module, it’s a pity. Training program inspired my professional confidence. I am not able to promise or guarantee its implementation because this issue is a systematic one, but on the whole I think, and this is my personal opinion, that such kind of practice would be very useful for Kazakhstani schools”, - mentioned representative of Education Ministry.

The training was offered to representatives of Almaty public schools, medical institutions, and education departments, as well as the Republican Centre for advanced training.

Kazakhstan has one of the highest teen suicide rates in the world and, for girls ages 15-19, the highest in the world. Yet, according to research, 82% of Kazakhstani families do not have access to the high-quality, affordable psychological services they need to help prevent suicidal behavior in teenagers. There are few qualified specialists in the country due, in part, to the lack advanced training programs for those who work with teenagers and their families.

TEENS, which works to prevent adolescent suicide in adolescents and youth through civic engagement, is implemented by the Women’s Leadership as part of the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia’s Good Governance Initiative Fund with financial support from USAID.


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