Friday, June 21, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

The devastating consequences of side-stepping mental health

It is high time that we began a national conversation on the importance of mental health  

Update : 29 Jan 2024, 01:39 PM

It is deeply saddening to know that at least 513 students resorted to ending their lives last year in Bangladesh, a figure provided by a survey carried out by non-governmental organization Aachol Foundation, and once again exposes just how devastating our society’s continuous neglect of mental health can be.

Of the 513 students, 227 were school students, 140 college students, 98 from universities, and 48 madrasa students, with the majority reason cited behind these suicide cases being “emotional distress” while other reasons such as family pressure, relationship woes, and sexual harassment being among others.

As a society, we place an inordinate amount of pressure on students. The constant battle to get distinguishing grades and getting into reputable educational institutions has been proven to be nothing more than a race to the bottom, and yet -- at a cultural level -- each subsequent generation seemingly fails to learn any lessons from their own experiences.

The students of today are the leaders of tomorrow, but they need to be of sound mind if they are to take up that mantle.

It is an incredibly unfortunate reality that mental health as a concept is always swept aside in our society, and while the current generation of youth are now far more aware of the importance of tending to one’s mental health, counseling professionals are still too few and far between for anyone suffering from mental illnesses to visit.

It is high time that we began a national conversation on the importance of mental health, and there is no better place to start than in the classroom -- we need our teachers and educators to be trained on counseling their students in order to create a better environment for learning.

When the youth of a nation are driven to the point of self termination instead of seeking out for help, it is due to the collective failure of the entire nation.

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