Mahdia Tragedy: President Ali commits to full compensation for affected families
– says 6 young people on suicide watch as int’l partners continue to offer assistance
Six Mahdia Secondary School students, whose dormitory was set aflame on Sunday, were placed on suicide watch and air-dashed to Georgetown to seek further assistance.
This is according to President Dr. Irfaan Ali during a press conference on Thursday.
“This is the proactive work of the counsellors on the ground and psychologists for high-risk persons. We are bringing them for further counselling and treatment. That is the type of work that is going on the ground,” Ali said.
The medical teams within Mahdia are currently providing mental health support to children and families involved in the fire, placing keen attention on those who seem high-risk. Nevertheless, President Ali has committed to fully compensate the aggrieved families.
“We are working in the interest of these families and children,” he noted, while adding that the Government is committing itself to short-, medium- and long-term support for the families where necessary.
In addition, according to a Newsroom report, the Head of State related, “At the appropriate time, this will be discussed with the families.” The President added that compensation is just a part of the menu of measures his Government is committing itself to.
Further, he hinted at the possibility of conducting a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) to further investigate the circumstances surrounding the deadly fire.
However, Security Adviser Gerry Gouveia told the press that ‘one boy’ who reportedly attempted to commit suicide was extracted through yet another medical evacuation (medevac) effort on Thursday, while later in the day, six more young people who were placed on suicide watch were shifted as well.
Mental Health teams were dispatched to the mining town, including one child psychiatrist, one child psychologist, three adult psychiatrists, two general psychologists, six social workers, mental health assistants, and two mental health-trained family physicians.
According to a Thursday Health Ministry press release, these teams will work in Mahdia and surrounding villages over the next three months, while plans to establish a strong mental health team permanently will be implemented.
Meanwhile, the President disclosed that requests made to Mount Sinai Hospital, Northwell Health, the Pan American Organization (PAHO) and Southcom Health Clinic to provide specialised counselling were also approved.
“Every child, every parent, every family member who would like to support their children with counselling, we will offer full, unhindered support through flights and transportation,” Ali said.
“We’re hoping that these specialised counsellors will support our local team in the communities, in the schools, to support the families during this difficult time,” Ali added.