By Friday Omosola
Worried by the increase in the number of students committing suicide in Nigeria, Guidance and Counseling expert at Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Dr. Tayo Olajubutu has called on the management of tertiary institutions to give priority to anti-suicide awareness programmes for the students.
Recently, a student of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, FUTA was reported to have committed suicide in his off-campus apartment in Aule, over a fraud allegation against him.
Statistics show that a total of 350 suicide reports were identified between January 2010 and December 2019, meaning the age of the reported cases was 36.33 (15.48) and mostly among the age group of 25–34 (25.3 percent).
In Nigeria, suicide is erroneously associated with unemployment, economic issues, poverty, financial challenges, spiritual, insecurity among others.
According to the World Health Organisation’s findings in 2020, about 30 percent of Nigerians have one form of mental illness or the other which had aided suicide in the country, and believed that these figures have gone up significantly.
In an interview with The Hope, Olajubutu said awareness lectures should be adopted by university counseling units, which would help students with suicide ideation get over the life-terminating feeling.
The former Head of Department (HOD) added that counseling units of the institutions should live up to their responsibilities by meeting and sensitising students, especially the new ones, on what to do not to fall victim.
She said, “The staff should go out, give orientation, encourage them [students] to open up on challenges they are facing. We have counselors at the counseling units for the students.
“Not everybody can face challenges. We call them challenges because they can be overcome.”
She further urged counseling units to adopt counseling strategies, adding that adopting the strategies will assist in ending the booming number of suicide cases in schools.