VC, expert lament rising suicide rate in varsities

The Vice-Chancellor of Redeemers University, Ede in Osun State,  Prof Anthony Akinlo and a consultant psychiatrist to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Prof Abiodun Adewuya, have condemned the rising incidence of suicide among students of tertiary institutions in the country.

Speaking during an anti-suicide symposium organised by the Redeemer’s University Family Forum, both of them described the diminishing value attached to human life among the youth as worrisome.

Citing an online news report, Akinlo said students in tertiary institutions of learning across Nigeria topped the list of the 42 Nigerians who committed suicide in the first quarter of the year.

He added that 11 of the suicide cases were committed in the universities.

Akinlo said attention should be placed on the cause of the scourge to prevent more students from taking their lives.

He blamed the prevalence of suicide on social vices, such as poor parenting,  loss of societal values, the general atmosphere of indiscipline  in the society and drug abuse.

Speaking on the theme, ‘Working Together To Prevent Suicide In The University Community,’ Adewuya blamed the alarming suicide rate among undergraduates on the school, family and individual factors.

He said, “Adolescence is the most dangerous stage in anyone’s life. The school environment has also contributed to this.

“There is discrimination against people due to their beliefs, socio-economic status and academic failure in our schools.  In some of the schools, students can’t relate with their lecturers. Many of the students committed suicide did so because they couldn’t ask for help.

“Also, many school authorities come up with harsh rules all in the name of instilling discipline in students.

“To get out of this situation, schools should strengthen the mental health of their students and lecturers, as well as sensitise them on the need to have self-esteem. Students who fail a course and feel distressed should be identified and counselled.”
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