The fact that stressed university students are resorting to suicide as an escape route from their frustrations is becoming a source of concern. These suicidal students often see suicide as the last resort to solve their problems permanently.
The issue of students turning suicidal has led the University of Cape Town to set up a mental health team to collaborate with the SA Depression and Anxiety Group to help such students.
The University of Cape Town recorded about 18 cases of attempted suicide last year. While this year, two students leaped to their untimely death from their residences.
Again, Durban University of Technology reported the case of a student who leaped to his death after it dawned on him that he had been refused funding.
However, due to some “ethical reasons”, the University of Stellenbosch would not make public the number of suicides recorded in the institution.
But according to head of the Crisis Service at the university Louis Vlok, “About 10 students a year (are hospitalized) due to serious suicidal intent.”
Wits University on the other hand could not make available their suicide statistics.
Most suicidal students often share their thoughts on the social media prior to their suicide attempts. For instance, a certain student under severe financial and academic stress once said: “So my question: Do I just commit suicide and save myself the trouble? How can I face the embarrassment and the money?”
Also, a rape victim posted: “I am severely suicidal and I have even told the comrades that I have attempted suicide.”
“I feel so sad. What saddens me is that I am stuck studying a degree that I do not particularly enjoy. I have a family that is dependent on me to graduate, make money and get us out of the poverty that we have lived through for so many years,” another student posted, and the list goes on.
This means that most suicidal students can actually be detected on time through their comments so that adequate measures could be used to draw them out of their frustration.