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Aderinola Bunmi
Science Laboratory Technology
Aspirant, Nigeria.

Speakers at a sensitisation seminar, organised by the Nigerian Association of University Women (NAUW), Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) chapter, have urged students suffering from depression to speak out, as part of measures to stem the increasing rate of suicide among students.

In her welcome address, NAUW President, Prof Comfort Onifade, said the growing rate of suicide in Nigerian tertiary institutions was giving “mothers” grave concern. She said the body resolved to organise the seminar to educate students that suicide is not the solution to life’s challenges.

Speaking on “Causes, effects and solutions to depression among students”, guest speaker, Prof. Helen Bodunde and other resource persons said depressed students should discuss their challenges with parents, friends, lecturers and the university’s Counselling Unit, for solutions to their problems.

Prof Bodunde defined depression as a mental health challenge that causes people to experience low mood, loss of interest, feelings of guilt, disturbed sleep, low appetite and poor concentration, adding that anybody can be depressed.

She said depression may be attributed to biological or genetic factors, family background of the victim, psychological-cum-social problem, inability to sustain lifestyle, loss of loved ones, poor nutrition, drug abuse and health challenges such as terminal diseases.

Bodunde identified symptoms of depression as tiredness, loss of energy, anxiety, loneliness, shabby dressing and sleeplessness; and its stages as mild, moderate and severe.

Rather than contemplate suicide, Bodunde said victims of depression could reach out to NAUW members, the Counselling Unit in the Students Affairs Division.

She advised students to support one another, in addition to eating balanced diet.

Another speaker, Mr. Timothy Adebesin, a graduate of Mass Communication, University of Lagos (UNILAG), called on the students to choose friends wisely because such can lead them to taking irrational steps that could cost them their lives.

Chairman of the occasion and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof Morenike Dipeolu, informed students that challenges were part of life which bring out the best in every individual.

“There is no challenge that cannot be surmounted because, with God all things are possible. is not, cannot, should not and ought not to be the solution,” she said.

Dean, Student Affairs, Prof Babatunde Idowu praised NAUW for coming up with the seminar, which he described as timely. He said the Ogun State government, University management and the Student Affairs Division were worried about the growing rate of suicide among students, urging them to shun drug abuse, and support one another, especially indigent students among them.

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