Fewer teenagers referred for counselling, says JAPEM

National 1 minute, 22 seconds


FEWER teenagers were referred for counselling in the past five years, figures from the Community Development Department (JAPEM) show.

Twenty-six adolescents had to undergo counselling from January to October this year, compared with 17 cases last year.

However, the department said last year saw a 67 per cent drop as 52 teens underwent counselling in 2014.

Teenagers who were referred to JAPEM included those with drug problems, shoplifting, self-harming and sexual behaviour issues.

Adolescents were also treated for psychological problems such as depression, anxiety or eating disorders the department said in an email interview.

JAPEM said there is a downward trend in the number of troubled adolescents.

In 2013, the department saw 26 teenagers for counselling while 36 troubled adolescents were recorded in 2012. Forty-five teenagers were referred to JAPEM for counselling in 2011.

JAPEM added that troubled teens tend to express their problems by rebelling against authorities.

“Teens often could not explain why they act the way they do. They may be confused or they simply see delinquent behaviour as an appropriate way to deal with what they experience.

“Many teens and youth today have problems and get into trouble. Afterall, there is a lot of pressure for teens to deal with among friends, family and environmental factors,” added the department.

JAPEM said some teens misbehave as a result of parental problems and poverty.

The department urged parents with troubled teenagers to show emotional support and find ways to help them.

“Teenagers are individuals with unique personalities. No matter how much they seem to withdraw emotionally, no matter how independent teens are, or how troubled they become, they still need attention and to feel loved,” JAPEM said.

The Brunei Times