There Has Been An Alarming Rise In Student Suicide Rates And It NEEDS Addressing
In the lead up to university, no one can ever truly prepare you for the culture shock you’re about to dive head-first into. For most of us, this is the first time we’ve lived somewhat independently away from home. It’s not merely about studying and getting a degree; it’s about experiencing life away from our parents; dealing with problems without mummy helping us along the way; and honestly taking care of ourselves.
When I first stepped into my shabby and by no means chic student halls, I’ll be the first to admit that I was a little naive. Movies and television series had lead me to believe that my student experience would be one everlasting party of sex, alcohol and junk food. While it very much delivered on those three promises, there was so much more to it. No one had warned me about the ever-impending deadlines, constant insecurities and loneliness that every student feels at some point during their university life.
While most of us managed to weather the storm and make it safely through to graduation, for some the pressure became all too much to handle. Unless you’ve been in the situation yourself, you can never truly imagine how it feels to choose to take your own life. For most of us the idea of doing so is simply incomprehensible, yet some people feel that they have no other options left.
In truth, students suicides are not the freak oddity that we’d like them to be. The reality of the situation is that this trend is one the rise, which means that more and more young people are at risk every year. In fact, between 2007 and 2011 the rate of student suicides in the UK rose by a massive 50%. That worrying statistic is not one that can be easily ignored – nor should it.
For far too long, mental health has been a taboo; something that we feel we just can’t talk about, at least not in polite company. And, therein lies the problem. When people are suffering from depression, what they need most in the world is someone to talk to. They need social support; help from counsellors and comfort from their friends. The very last thing they need is to feel even more isolated from the people around them.
It’s worth being aware of the symptoms of depression so that you can identify them both in yourself and those around you. When young people are thrown in together, they essentially become one another’s family. The signs of this illness (because it is an illness) include high levels of stress, anger, hopelessness, feelings of worthlessness and failing to follow through on plans.
If you do notice this signs in someone, reaching out to them might just save their life. It may sound over-dramatic and there’s no easy answer, but talking to people is always the first step. Similarly, if you experience these feelings yourself, you should know that help is available. Most universities have on-site counsellors or support lines you can call. If you’re unaware of what your university provides, it’s worth contacting your personal tutor.
For more information about this issue, check out – www.samaritans.org