By Solomon Odeniyi
The Vice chancellor of the Redeemers university, Ede Osun state, Prof Anthony Akinlo said students in higher institution of learning across the country top the list of the forty-two Nigerians who committed suicide in the first six months of the year.
He added that eleven of the suicides were committed in the institution.
He spoke at the Anti-suicide symposium organised by the Redeemer’s University Family Forum
He blamed the prevalence of suicide on society vices such as poor parenting, loss of societal values, general atmosphere of indiscipline in the society and drug abuse.
Akinlo said attention should be placed on the root cause of the scourge to prevent more students from committing suicide.
A consultant psychiatrist to the Lagos State Teaching hospital, Professor Abiodun Adewuya condemned the rising incidence of suicide among students in teitary institutions in the country.
He described as worrisome the diminishing value attached to life among the youths who majorly are students.
Speaking on the theme : “Working Together To Prevent Suicide In The University Community ” Adewuya highlighted school, family and individual factors as being responsible for the alarming rate of suicide among students.
He stated that as much the other factors have led to the rise of suicide in the country the school environment has contributed more to the scourge.
He said, ” Adolescent stage is the most dangerous period of anyone’s life. Most of them are found in the various institutions now. The school environment have also contributed to this problem.
“In our schools there are discrimination against people due to their beliefs, socio-economic status and academic failure. There are many instances where the students can’t relate with the lecturers. And many who committed suicide did so because they couldn’t ask for help.
“Also, many of the school authorities come up with harsh rules all in the name of instilling discipline in students.
“To get out of this, schools should must strengthening the mental health of students and lecturers. Sensitise them on the need to have self-esteem. Students who fail a course and feel distressed should be identified and counselled.