STUDENT SUICIDE SCARE
Since 2007, there has been a rise in student suicides in the UK according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. Last year alone there were 134 suicides reported in universities. I wanted to look at why so many students are taking their own life and why Universities are not taking better steps and procedures to stop student suicide.
Last December a survey was carried out by the National Union of Students, the survey found that a third of students questioned had had suicidal thoughts during the year. Additionally out of those who took part, 78 per cent said that they where battling mental health isssues.
Schools, Parents and Politicians tend to glorify young people going off to Uni and getting a degree, but they overlook the huge pressures that many students face. Students get to university and realise that although they’re supposed to be having the time of their life, they’re not. Throughout their life, through school, sixth form and more, they’ve had their friends siblings and families every step of the way. They then head off to uni and are put into a completley new environment by themselves.
Last month at the University of Bristol, The body of 23-year-old, neuroscience student, Lara Nosiru, was found after she took her own life. Three other Bristol University students, Daniel Green, 18, Kim Long, 18 and Miranda Williams, 19 have also taken their own lives since the start of the academic year in September.
There are many issues and challenges that may lead students to suicide or to be having suicidal thoughts in university. There are pressures that students feel to succeed in exams and assignments which can lead to depression, anxiety and hopelessness. There are also relationship pressures of meeting friends and potential partners. Along with this being away from home and concerns over money can often intensify the situation. Often students may feel like they need to find a part-time job which can often be hard to balance along with studying, increasing the risk of a stress overload.
It could be argued that universities should be offering more to help students who may be concidering suicide. Some may say there is not enough pastoral support for students when they first leave home, moving from a busy home environment to a one bedroom student room can be a massive shock and give off the feeling of loneliness and isolation.
On the other hand, most universities do offer out a support system, usually involving counselling, to prevent students from being lonely, depressed and having suicidal thoughts. If these support systems are more widely advertised to students, it could prevent and lower the reoccuring pattern of suicide within the student community.