Skyrocketing suicidal tendencies on campus

Image result for emo on campusThe years of being a student are said to be some of the best years of one’s entire life. These are the years that individuals find themselves enveloped in a cocoon of ever-transforming experiences and moments. For millions of individuals each year, they walk through the doors of their high school, their college, or their university, and they learn and grow and on life goes. However, unfortunately there are also millions of students every year that struggle with mental health issues. Sometimes these issues fester until they self-harm, or worse, end their lives. It is an epidemic that has become increasingly sinister and sadly, increasingly common. As student suicides rise, drastic measures have begun to be implemented all over the world to reach more students struggling. Some Universities have begun door-knocking tactics to get a firmer grasp on the mental health of their students and how they can help. While the reasons for feeling suicidal differ from person to person, one fact remains steadfast – no matter the location in the world, no matter the individual’s personal circumstances, no matter the education institution’s awareness to individual cases…these institutions simply must offer early support systems and tools to students who need them.

In a study conducted in 2017, 35% of students surveyed said that they had contemplated self-harm or suicide in the last year. The suicide rates of students in the UK, for example, have recently overtaken that of non-students between the ages of twenty to twenty-four. For some students, the time of their studies is a period of transition in multiple aspects of their life – some students are moving away to college, away from their families, while others may be switching majors (or entire degrees) in the hope of finding a spark of recognition that yes, this is what I am meant to do…not what I am supposed to do.

Stress at school has a monumental impact on an individual’s mental health, and studies suggest that academic stress can be one of the biggest contributing factors when young students feel suicidal. The causes of self-harm and suicide vary from person to person, but what remains the same is that added pressures from areas in life can cause even the most well-adjusted, balanced individual to struggle to maintain their grasp on their surroundings and their academic experience. The sheer number of students that feel the dark pull of mental struggles is both astounding and devastating, and the education industry must come up with some more sure-fire ways to help those struggling – ideally before the point where the individual in question feels so hopelessly lost that self-harm of any capacity becomes a reality, rather than a dark thought in the back of their mind. As students are striving for balance between family, friends, work, and study – as well as all the individual, miscellaneous aspects of life – they are subsequently putting pressure on themselves to perfect their skills, to be better. Sometimes, individuals struggling may not even realise the full scope of their pain until they are in too deep.

Suicides among students unfortunately tend to peak around the time that examinations commence, a factor that contributes to the fears that pressure to perform well academically harm students’ mental health. While students can use a variety of assessment preparation tools such as practice tests, flashcards, notes, and enrolled agent exam prep courses, all the preparation in the world cannot change the fact that some students simply feel lost in themselves. It is difficult to remain confident and content in one’s academic performance when they are dealing with mental struggles that they perhaps cannot even comprehend or understand enough to eradicate on their own. As the suicides among students in their care grows, concern also mounts around the capacity of universities and colleges to meet the unprecedented rise in mental health struggles among young people, in this case specifically students.

Students all over the world struggle with the pressures of academia. An increase in the number of students around the globe that have either had suicidal thoughts, have attempted suicide, or have passed away by suicide, means that society simply is not doing enough or offering enough for students impacted by mental health issues to feel safe and supported in coming forward with their demons. As the student suicide epidemic worsens, fierce debate rages on about what schools are doing to help their students deal with – and ultimately banish – their demons. As more and more schools begin to make positive changes regarding student mental health support systems and tools, there remains the fact that even one student suicide is too many…until the percentage of students that take their own lives is practically non-existent, there will always be ways to improve the way that schools deal with, handle, and prevent deaths on campus and during students’ enrolment.

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