Speakers at a sensitization Seminar, organized by the Nigerian Association of University Women (NAUW) Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) Chapter, have urged students who are suffering from depression to speak out, as part of measures to stem the tide of increasing rate of suicide among Nigerian Students.
The Seminar titled “Causes, Effects and Solutions to Depression Among Students,” featured Prof. Helen Bodunde as Guest Speaker among other Resource Persons who spoke with one voice that depressed students should open up to discuss their challenges with their parents, friends, lecturers and the University’s Counselling Unit, for solutions to their problems.
In her Lecture, 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 the causes of depression may be attributed to Biological or Genetical factors, family background of the victim, psychological cum social problem, inability to sustain lifestyle, the loss of loved ones, poor nutrition, drug abuse and health challenges such as terminal diseases.
Professor Bodunde opined that the symptoms of depression are tiredness, loss of energy, anxiety, loneliness, shabby dressing and sleeplessness.
Though the stages of depression may be mild, moderate and severe, Prof. Bodunde advised victims of depression to speak out to their friends, parents, their lecturers, particularly Nigerian Association of University Women (NAUW) members, the Councelling Unit in the Students Affairs Division, saying suicide is not the solution to depression, urging the students to look after themselves by helping one another, in addition to eating balanced and healthy food.
Another Speaker, Mr. Timothy Adebesin, a graduate of Mass Communication, UNILAG and Public Speaker, called on the students to choose friends they move with wisely because such can lead them to taking irrational steps that are capable of ending their lives.
In his words, “Determination is a father of distinction, have a focus and you will be focused”.
Earlier, the Chairman of the occasion and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor (Mrs.) Morenike Dipeolu informed the students that challenges are part of life which bring out the best in every individual. She encouraged them to speak out to people around them whenever they face unexpected challenges, stressing that, “there is no challenge that cannot be surmounted because, “With God all things are possible. Suicide is not, cannot, should not and ought not to be the solution”.
In his Remark, the Dean, Student Affairs, Professor Babatunde Idowu commended NAUW for coming up with the Seminar which he described as apt, timely and appropriate, stressing that the Ogun State Government, University Management and the Student Affairs Division are deeply worried about the growing rate of suicide among students, urging the students to shun drug abuse, be friendly with one another and offer help to the indigent students among them.
In the same vein, the Director, Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies (CENTS), FUNAAB, Professor Babatunde Adewumi admonished the students to seek and trust God in all they do because he has a purpose for their lives, charging them to be friendly and should know that everybody on earth is challenged in one way or the other.
In her Welcome Address, the President, Nigerian Association of University Women (NAUW), FUNAAB Chapter, Prof. (Mrs.) Comfort Onifade said the growing rate of attempted suicide in Nigeria higher institutions of learning has been giving the “mothers” grave concern, stating that the body resolved to organise the Sensitization Seminar to educate, enlighten and inform the students that suicide is not the solution to life challenges.