At least 101 university students committed suicide in 2021 showing a growing number of suicidal tendency among students in Bangladesh, according to Aachol Foundation on Saturday.
Some nine suicide incidents, the highest number, were recorded at University of Dhaka while the tendency was found among male students than the female ones and public universities than private universities, the data showed.
Aachol Foundation, a suicide preventing student organisation which started it journey in 2019, conducted the survey and disclosed it at a press conference titled "Shocking Upsurge in Suicide Cases among University Students: The Liability of Stakeholders."
In order to conduct the research, the data was collected through secondary sources which consisted of 50 national and local newspapers.
The highest number of suicides were recorded in Dhaka University, which accounted for nine students while Jagannath University and Shahjalal University of Science and Technology had recorded six suicide cases each, the report added.
It was also analyzed that 12 medical colleges or university students which make 11.6 per cent of the overall data had chosen the tragic paths of suicide. About 22.6 per cent of the private university students which accounts for 23 in total committed suicide the previous year.
On the other hand, suicide cases among 18-21 years old accounted for 26.73 per cent of the total, or 27 cases. Furthermore, the rates for the age groups 28-29 years and over 29 years are 9.90 per cent and 3.96 per cent, or 10 and 4 suicide cases, respectively.
A total of 65 male students committed suicide, accounting for 64.36 per cent of all students. In the case of female students, however, this figure was 36, or 35.64 per cent, outnumbering female students by nearly two to one.
During this pandemic, increased social, financial, and family pressures have been a major regulator of male students’ suicides, it mentioned.
Tansen Rose, the founding president of the Aachol Foundation, stated that the inability of students to adapt to an uncertain future may be classified as the primary cause of suicide cases.
Prof Kamal Chowdhury, programme director of Nasirullah Psychotherapy Unit, Department of Clinical Psychology, Dhaka University, said that we are less concerned about a large number of suicides.
Suicide can be caused by a variety of factors, such as failing a test, family pride, the end of a love affair, loneliness, and so on. Because we, the people, are not aware of mental health, the number of suicides will rise in the future, he added.
Appropriate mental health services can be ensured by appointing mental health professionals at the district and Upazila levels, as well as providing proper training to youth organisations, said Aachol Foundation.
Involving youth in policy dialogue and counselling, incorporating mental health issues and services into primary health care, inclusion of mental health-related lessons from primary school to university level would help in eliminating mental health taboos and inferiority.
The organisation also recommended establishment of an emergency national hotline to provide mental health service, launch of a special app that allows anyone to quickly seek the advice of a psychologist and providing special attention to the implementation of the 'Mental Health Act-2018.'