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Suicide by varsity students on rise

101 took lives in 2021: Study

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 29 January, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news

At least 101 students of different public and private universities committed suicide across the country in 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has badly affected learners’ mental health.

Statistics show the highest rate of suicide among public university students at 62.39 percent of the total victims as 62 killed selves last year.

The lowest number of suicide was among students of engineering universities where four took their own lives which is 3.96 percent of the victims.

Besides, 23 students of different private universities committed suicide and the rate was 22.77 percent.

The number of suicide incidents was 12 at medical college and universities in the country last year which is 11.88 percent of all the victims.

The scenario came up in a study conducted by Aachal Foundation, an organisation working on mental health of students. The findings of the study will be disseminated at a virtual programme at 11:00am today.

Psychologists said suicidal tendencies among students have increased as the prolonged closure of educational institutions over the ongoing pandemic has put an adverse impact on their mental health.

Tensions about career, uncertainty about future, breakup of relationship, family disputes, mental depression, financial crisis and drug addiction are the key reasons that led to the growing suicidal tendencies among students, they said.

According the study findings, highest nine Dhaka University students committed suicide in 2021 while the number was six for Jagannath University, five for Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, four for Rajshahi University and three for Daffodil International University.

Analysing the ages of the students, it was found that the suicidal tendencies are high among the university students aged between 22 and 25.

Data show that the rate of suicide is 59.41 percent among the students aged 22-25 while 26.73 percent among those aged 18-21, 9.90 percent for 26-29 age group and 3.96 percent among the students aged above 29 years.

The rate of suicidal tendencies among the male students is high as 65 of the 101 victims were males.

Researchers mentioned that the number of suicides by males was almost double last year their female counterparts.

They said the increase in social, financial and family pressure amid the coronavirus pandemic has acted as a major regulator behind the high number of suicide by male students.

The data show that the suicide rate among the 3rd and 4th year honours students is comparatively higher which was 36.63 percent last year.

The study stated that the students have more career-centric social pressure and are more prone to frustration due to future uncertainty.

Meanwhile, 24.75 percent students committed suicide due to relationship while 19.80 percent due to family disputes, 15.84 percent for getting relief from mental pressure, 4.95 percent due to financial crisis, 10.89 percent due to study-related reasons and 1.98 percent students took their own lives due to drug addiction.

Prof Kamal Ahmed Chowdhury of the Department of Clinical Psychology at Dhaka University said, “In recent years, the number of suicide in Bangladesh, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic, has seen an alarming rise.”

He said, “We’re more concerned about Covid-19 while giving less importance to suicide incidents though a large number of suicides take place in the country every year.”

The psychologist also said suicide takes place for various reasons such as failure in examinations, family matters, breakup in love affairs and loneliness. “The number of suicides will rise in the future if we don’t be aware of our mental health.”

“I believe that the suicide incidents will be reduced if the government establishes suicide cells in each district for raising awareness among people and works with the private sector,” he added.

Tansen Rose, founding president of Aachal Foundation, said the inability of students to adapt to an uncertain future may be classified as the primary catalyst of suicide cases.

He said, “Analysing the data, it’s clear that the causes of suicide have far more ingrained reasons than it could be deciphered. The uncertainty surrounding life and the lack of accessibility to adequate educational opportunities to adapt to diverse situations do leave individuals in a precarious position where they’re unable to cope with the challenges.”

Tansen Rose said, “Failing to do well in exams or falling apart of a romantic relationship has been observed to have a significant impact on the mental well-being of students. It’s vital to teach them that life is a balance of the good and the bad.”

He also urged parents to create awareness among students, saying counselling is crucial for the people who have developed an intention to kill themselves while family members and friends can play a good role in the absence of trained psychiatrists or doctors.

Aachal foundation is set to place a 10-point proposal to prevent students from committing suicide.