More than 10pc university students suffer from mental health issues: Study

FE REPORT | Saturday, 19 June 2021

A research has showed that 10.41 per cent university students of Bangladesh are suffering from mental disturbances due to lockdown restrictions imposed by the government to contain the spread of coronavirus.

According to the study, 12.57 per cent students are suffering from moderately severe mental health imbalance, 72.7 per cent from moderate and 4.32 per cent from mild mental health imbalance.

It also showed that having family members affected by the coronavirus, facing insecurity, using social media, and smoking habits increased the mental health imbalances of students during the lockdown period.

In contrast, being worried about studying, future career, spending more time with family members, and participation in household chores reduced mental health disturbances of students.

Implementing mental health plans and providing job security, improved communication approaches towards family members, not flattening illusive news, and preoccupation in household activities may assist to enhance the mental health status of the university students, the study said.

The survey was conducted on a total number of 509 students-- 358 (70.3 per cent) from public and 151 (29.7 per cent) from private universities. Among them, 298 (58.5 per cent) were male students and 211 (41.5 per cent) were female students.

In the sample population, 96.7 per cent of students were aged between 18 and 28 years and 88.8 per cent of them were living with their family members. Additionally, 74.3 per cent were living in urban area, 99.2 per cent had awareness about Covid-19, 65.8 per cent faced insecurity and stress and 79.9 per cent of students felt uncomfortable thinking about Covid-19.

The data was collected through an online questionnaire (Google Form) from students 110 days after home-quarantine following the lockdown declared by the government on March 25, 2020. The respondents in the target population were sampled following the convenient sampling strategy.

The study was conducted by five researchers headed by Nahid Salma, an assistant professor at Jahangirnagar University. A research paper based on the study was published in the 'Journal of Public Health', a British-German based journal, on April 17 this year.

The survey said most of the students seemed unusually stressed concerning their eventual career and education because there is an age limitation for obtaining a government job.

That is why the researchers suggested that the government and policymakers take significant actions to minimize mental health problems in university students of Bangladesh.

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