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WIDE EXTENSION OF SUCIDIAL IDEATION IN UNIVERSITIES



In 2018 an anonymous finance student was found hanging in one of the hostels at National University of Science and Technology (NUST). Two months after, a first year Statistics student was crushed by a train in another case of suspected suicide. At the same time, a  Midlands State University (MSU) student took his own life after finding his girlfriend in bed with another man.
Deaths related to suicide keep on occurring each time and again that it is now becoming a disturbing trend. This spike in suicides has left people scrambling for answers. 

Among a myriad of reasons that are surging suicide in these tertiary institutions are depression, high stress levels, guilt about a mistake made, family issues, failure and general lack of belonging to a particular society is the main force that is causing the prevalence of suicidal ideation.

In most cases suicide in Universities is chained with depression which is a state of long-term lowering of enjoyment of life or inability to visualize a happy future. 

Depression emanates from issues to do with the heart and mind, loss of a loved one and perceived failure. What usually evoke this in tertiary institutions is that students fail to manage stress, leading to depression that gives the opportunity to suicidal ideation. As documented by Herald Zimbabwe paper of 3 February 2020 and worthy to note is that suicide is linked to mental health issues. 



 It is not exactly a single event that prompts one to think about taking their own life, rather it is a series of events, which are not being handled well by individuals. Specifically, matters of the heart are complex and can take a huge toll on a student`s mental faculties. In a paper published by the Sunday Mail on 04 august 2019, one Walter Temera of MSU took his life after finding his girlfriend in bed with a lecturer.
The burden of a lot of school related work can have detrimental effects on a student.  Academic pressure can cause suicide if one fails to handle it properly. It might come as stress over perceived failure or just failure, this then cause one to avert the failures through suicide. At NUST a student named Siwela committed suicide as he was preparing for his end of semester examinations. (Sunday Mail 04 August 2019)


Some cases of suicide are related to financial problems. This remains a thorny issue which is precipitating suicides in campuses. From one dimension it can be due to competition from peers that might cause one to lack a sense of belonging promoting suicide as an escape or might also be failure to cater for basic needs at University that cause one to end life. When one does not get support through their time of difficulty, they may be isolated from the world, forcing them to withdraw from life through suicide hence ending it all.
Worthy to consider is that we do find suicide entangled with stigmatization in campuses. Blackmailing and cyber bullying usually contribute much as far as stigmatization is concerned. In 2019 a UZ female student committed suicide as a way to evade character defamation after a video of her having sexual relation went viral.


It is imperative to note that the pain of losing a loved one can trigger suicide due to trauma. This can be one`s parent or a guardian. Their role in a student`s life is very fundamental to the extent that losing them leaves students in state of despair and hopelessness. The death of a parent means that they might fail to continue with their studies due to lack of financial input. It might also be due to the mismanaging stress of leaving without them that can prompt them to be susceptible to suicidal thoughts.

Suicides at tertiary institutions cannot be treated in isolation with family problems. Suicide happens due to unresolved family matters that are hidden. They manifest in diverse ways and the nearest to the victim is suicide. Family baggage comes also into play and the balancing of pressure from peer pressure; fees and upkeep finance are a horde of challenges.


Generally most of the reasons that are promoting the trend of suicide are somehow connected to these tertiary institutions. The intriguing part is what will become out of these institutions in a period of 10 years. Will it be a safe place for adults to learn or it will be just another death trap?


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