Experts have urged primary schools to set up psychological counselling offices to help them overcome problems and enhance their learning.

Primary students have more psychological obstacles today, according to Duong Thi Thanh Thanh, lecturer of Vinh City University in Nghe An province, who spoke at a two-day workshop that began on July 26 in HCM City.

Some of them have problems in reading and do math, and others have behavioural problems. In addition, some children have developed psychological disorders because of study overload.

According to a report from the National Hospital of Pediatrics, the hospital admitted 11,432 patients last year for psychological problems and 30 percent of them were primary-school students.

The National Institute of Mental Health under Bach Mai Hospital said that some children in schools in Hanoi showed fatigue and anxiety about their learning.

One problem is that many children were only brought to hospitals after the problem had persisted for some time.

For that reason, psychological-consulting offices at primary schools are necessary, according to Thanh.

If learning and behavourial problems are discovered early, the number of kids hospitalised for mental health treatment would fall, she added.

Because many children also suffer from physical and mental abuse at school as well as at home, psychological consultation will protect and help them.

Thanh said consulting should also be provided for parents so they can understand more about their children's development in order to have timely intervention.

At the workshop, representatives said they hoped the Consortium to Advance School Psychology in Vietnam would develop a model of mental-health counselling that could be applied at schools across the country.

They suggested that schools equip their teachers and supervisors with skills to help them understand the psychological development of children.

Participants at the workshop also delivered presentations on reproductive health education in high school and skills training for other advisors at schools.

The workshop, organised by the HCM City University of Education and Consortium

to Advance School Psychology in Vietnam , attracted more than 100 foreign and national experts and lecturers.-VNA