Suicide and necessity of counselling centre
Recently, a student of Dhaka University named Imam Hossain committed suicide by hanging himself with a fan in his village home. Before committing suicide, he posted a status on social media Facebook titled 'Al-Bida'. I found out in the media that he was suffering from depression due to love affair for a long time. This is the reason for his suicide. The girl's father did not like him and the beloved did not want to continue a relationship with him. For this reason, he was depressed. But we lost a brilliant student. This loss cannot be compensated in any way.
Another example of similar case is Supriya Das, a fourth batch student of Mathematics Department of Barisal University, who committed suicide a few days ago. I also came to know through the media while studying in college, she developed relation with Tapu, a student of Khulna University of Engineering and Technology (KUET). Tapu committed suicide a few days ago. Supriya was socially blamed for Tapu's suicide. Her close friends think that Supriya has chosen the path of suicide due to social reason and emotional stress. She committed suicide at her home in Faridpur on the evening of Eid day.
Such incidents are happening in almost all over the country, which is increasing day by day. At Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University (JKKNIU), a student committed suicide due to love affair in 2019. These incidents are very sad. She was a meritorious student in her batch.
However, only in Dhaka University, 23 or more students have committed suicide in the last 15 years. There are various explanations and opinions about the cause of suicide of these meritorious students of the nation. I don't even know if the university authorities have taken any initiative to prevent such incident. However, many researchers feel that they have taken the path of suicide because of depression, anxiety about good results, conflicts with friends, dissatisfaction with parents, frustration with education and personal life, tensions in relationships and job uncertainty etc.
Every university has a separate department for mental health care for students--who are under stress due to various reasons. There is only one permanent adviser in this department called 'Student adviser and Counseling Department'. However, many universities do not have any psychologists. But according to the number of students of the university, there should be at least one psychologist in each department. It is true that one student advisor is not enough for all students in a university.
Again, the initiative of the university authorities to find out the reason behind suicide has not been noticed. I don't know whether the advisory office has any information in this regard. Again many students have no idea about the counselling department and what this department can do for them. However, the university authorities do not take enough initiative to raise awareness among the students. We think that the position of permanent consultant in the advisory department of every university should be increased.
However, many students are reluctant to go to teachers with their personal problems. Some students occasionally come to teachers with testimonials, relationship breakdowns and complications, stress, and depression. Teachers also have a responsibility to provide inspirational guidance to students about the value and quality of life in the classroom and at other times; which helps to reduce their frustration. The main ways of suicide prevention are individual and group-based psychological counselling, research on crisis and problem solving, prevention measures and promotion, campus safety review, and faculty or departmental awareness. It is imperative to give support for students in special financial crises.
It is very essential to establish a Psychological counselling canter for this purpose. It is important to introduce services with standard practice and skilled psychiatrists. In the early 1990s, a Greek university raised awareness of the need for psychological counselling for students as a way to prevent segregation, both academic and personal. The first student counselling centre was established in 1990 by Professor Anastasia Kalantzi-Azizi at the University of Athens. Later many universities established it in different countries. Psychological counselling centres should be set up in all the universities with experienced people or staff for counselling of the students.
These centres can generally operate their activities in two ways: individualized and group-based emotional support and special needs of students. The centre can play a role in diagnosing mental illness, risk assessment and early mental health problems. So that a student can be controlled before he/she is in serious danger.
The centre can issue leaflets to a large number of students on academic problems and various mental-health problems in university life and disseminate them among the students. It helps in raising awareness among the students and teaching them about the strategies to deal with a variety of problems. The teachers of the department should also pay attention to the activation of similar steps. Educational achievement is an important phenotype, where cognitive activity is associated with mental illness. In addition, a major feature of educational failure is mental illness.
I think a comprehensive policy should be formulated with the advice of analysts, academics and intellectuals to solve this problem. In the light of which all the university centres will be run. The current evidence of accidents is demanding to find way to solve the problems. Otherwise it will be a serious problem for us. Many talented students may commit suicide. Parents will lose their dreams and invaluable resources and the institution will lose its meritorious students. The solution to these problems is not just to run a university traditionally but to think of a new administration. It is very important for the government or the authorities concerned to take appropriate steps in this regard.
Md Shafiqul Islam, Phd Fellow , Zhonan University of Economics and Law, Wuhan, China, and Assistant Professor, Jaitya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University, Mymensingh, Bangladesh