The Vancouver Sun's, "Youth and depression: Building supports in schools" story tells us students who returned to their classrooms last autumn gained access to curriculum that encouraged "mental-wellness skills such as regulating emotions, managing stress and asking for help."
The program, run primarily by teachers, welcomes volunteers to provide positive adult interaction. We learn about one volunteer helping distressed children, Lindsey – herself a sufferer ofnear-debilitatingg anxiety and depression while a youth in school. Lindsey says when she was in grade 6 ". . . I didn't know who I was and feeling like I would rather walk into traffic than go to school."
The program is a sad indictment of Canadian schools generally, places of education supposedly to inspire learning – learning that is natural to the human condition.
What is it about schools that would want to keep children like Lindsey away? Well, capitalism doesn't exactly lend itself to a cheery study for anyone, unless you happen to be the beneficiary of vast sums making you a mogul of capital.
Schools under capitalism have one agenda to meet: making wage slaves for the system that blinkers kids for later abuse as adults in factories, resource industries, and proliferating low paying, no benefit or pension service industries.
In a sane society schools would be places people would want to be – places where learners develop and explore their interests, unhindered by the dictates of tests
measuring one future worker against another. Schools in such a sane society, as opposed to the insane one we have now that provides mental health services to wider and wider segments of the general population to keep the jolly old system of capitalism afloat, would be places of leisure and social joy – not the workshops of misery they are today.
For now, though, we'll all have to resign ourselves to observing our children and neighbours' children receiving what is tantamount to psychotherapy in schools, delivered by those hardly in positions to deliver it: teachers.
Steve and John