From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
Stress and frustration have been accounted for as major factors that cause mental breakdown amongst Nigerian students.
This was disclosed by the Executive Director of Connected Advocacy for Empowerment and Youth Development Initiative, Prince Israel Orekha, in a one-day sensitisation workshop held in conjunction with Legionnaire for Mankind’s Health, Netherlands, with the theme: Impact of Mental Health on Youth Development. Prince Orekha linked these factors to the way Nigeria schools are being managed, especially in this era of COVID-19 pandemic.
‘The psychological wellbeing of students has always been at the forefront of concern over the years in Nigeria. In the last decade, there have been several reports of how students mentally breakdown as a result of the stress and frustration which our school systems have in a way helped foster. These stress and frustration most often result in depression and anxiety which sometimes lead to suicide,’ he said.
‘Some of the factors that cause stress and frustration are, but not limited to the overloaded academic calendar, financial constraints, unhealthy relationships with lecturers or their peers, etc.’
Speaking, the Founder/Executive Director of Legionnaire for Mankind’s Health, Netherlands, Prof Ernst Josef Franzek, said every student deserves a future and that the future is learning and re-learning. He attributed the causes of suicide amongst students to psychosis, mental depression, addiction and pure psychological issue. He said suicide is not a solution but only an endpoint.
‘Other factors that make people commit suicide in education include fanatic religiosity, fear of being mocked (Japanese samurai or fighters), manipulating someone to do something, inability to meet up with set goals,’ Prof Franzek said.
The psychiatrist reiterated that the solution to people considering suicide is communication and doing away with stigma.
‘The solution is communicating with people around you to ask questions. When you ask questions, you will find out that you are not the only one in it,’ he said.
He said we can recognise potential suicide victim when we notice that the behaviour we know about somebody changes.
On his part, the Secretary-General of Legionnaire for Mankind’s Health, Sunny Ofehe, emphasised the importance of goal settings in passing through turbulence moments in life.
‘We are bound to go through life’s challenges. No matter your tough moments always let your goals be your guide. No matter what you are going through, let where you are going motivated and encourage you.
‘As part of our support to reduce mental health issues which are due to poverty and weak institutions, we are set to continue supporting the local community by providing a helping hand, these of which will help to reduce depression,’ Ofehe said.
Legionnaire for Mankind’s Health is a Netherlands based organisation that provides psychosocial support and community service to underserved youth, whose starting point is Africa with special focus on Nigeria.