Deputy Provost, Academics, Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Technology (FCFMT), Lagos, Mrs Aderonke Adebowale has urged teachers, lecturers and parents, to set eyes on the students around to know when they are passing through depression and quickly attend to them.

According to her, depression among students has led to many youths committing suicide over trivial issues that could easily be resolved if urgently attended to by teachers or parents.

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The Deputy Provost Academic gave this charge while addressing students at the orientation organised for students of 2020/2021 academics session, held on the institution’s campus, Victoria Island, Lagos. 

Adebowale who represented the Provost, Dr Onuoha, P.C. at the event said: ”These days, you heard of students committing suicide, some because they failed, some because they could not meet up with whatever goals they have set for themselves.

”I believe strongly that a lot of these happened because our country has become individualistic. ”The Nigeria we grow up in was a communal environment., such that if your parents were not available, there are other people that serve as parents that noticed what we were passing through.

If you as parents do not notice depression in your children, someone out there would draw your attention to it.”

For example, a child that should normally greet you now walked past without greeting, in those days, someone will alert the parents. But in today’s Nigeria, the story has changed. We are now individualistic.

”We have the plan to have a professional come in to talk to our lecturers and student to arrest the trend of depression that often lead to suicide among our students.

”Lecturers are pivotal to helping the depressed students because they are the people students see and relate to face to face. If the student is passing through depression while on campus, the lecturers will know if they are observant.”

”To the students passing through depression, she urged them to share their problems with the lecturers, adding that, a problem shared is half solved.

Adebowale said: ”Once the burden of the student with depression is lifted, the mind of the student will be able to think about other options instead of suicide. We encourage students to speak out while going through a challenge.

”For example, during the last session, a student of age 20 came to my office and I looked at him and discovered a different mood in him because I know him to be always active in class.

”I asked him what his problem was but he said nothing. So I sat him down and chatted with him for quite a while and he eventually told me that he was just coming from the clinic where they told him that his Blood Pressure (BP) was high. (200 plus). I said, how old are you? He said 20. I told him to go back to the clinic and tell them I said, they should keep him under observation until he’s normalised.

”Two weeks after when I called him,  he disclosed his challenges, there we started working together as I keep looking for him to talk to.

”If care was not taken, such a person could probably be working somewhere to get something and anything could have happened. ”Till he graduated, he became quite closed to me and he was free to walk up to my office to share his challenges.

”If students can speak out the situation will be arrested and the chances of the student going into depression will become slim.”

She further urged the students to know the reasons they are in school and focus on those reasons.

”We pride ourselves here on holistic education. It is not all about classroom teaching, we want our students to go and learn in and out of the classroom.

”Education is beyond academics or literacy, we want them to be exposed such that when they graduate, they would be good entrepreneurs, visioners and above all patriotic Nigerians. The student should focus and set a vision for himself. Plan towards it because magic won’t happen, you have to study towards success, ” Adebowale said.


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