Selasa 31 Oct 2023 15:55 WIB

Youth Suicide on the Rise, UGM to Ban 'Killer Lecturers'

UGM already has mechanisms that can barricade potential mental health problems.

Rep: Ronggo Astungkoro/ Red: Fitriyan Zamzami
UGM Campus Yogyakarta.
Foto: Yusuf Assidiq
UGM Campus Yogyakarta.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA — Vice Rector for Education and Teaching at Gadjah Mada University (UGM), Wening Udasmoro, called mental health vulnerability among adolescents and students an iceberg phenomenon that needs to be mitigated nationwide. According to him, the problems that adolescents who experience mental health problems often face come from family rather than college.

“I look year after year, and these are in my opinion the worst years. These mental health issues, student vulnerability and so on, these are the worst years. So this is really national it should be a joint movement, not shy anymore,” Wening said in a hybrid discussion, quoted on Tuesday (31/10/2023).

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He said that what is happening more and more in today's society is not only suicide, but also attempted suicide. In addition, there are also more cases of bipolar and mental health cases, some even occurring since primary school (primary school). Therefore, solutions to deal with it are an important value to be easily sought.

“I think this solution can be done from different sides. Individually there is strengthening from families, educational institutions related to us in the UGM, the country, and I think it has to be comprehensive, there has to be really comprehensive mitigation from the state,” he said.

Wening explained that, based on empirical findings, the problems that adolescents who experience mental health problems often face are more likely to come from the family. For example, pressure from the family for the child to be the best in the class. That pressure, he says, makes young people really feel like they have to be the best in the midst of so many other like-minded young people.

Another example of a problem that many come from the family, is that children are victims of domestic violence, both victims of violence from the father and mother. Accepted forms of violence are varied, it can be verbal violence, psychological violence, as well as physical violence, and even sexual violence. Although the violence did not directly target the child, witnessing the violence alone traumatized the child.

According to Wening, issues originating from college campuses, which result in adolescent or student mental health problems being disrupted, are fewer in number. Even so, those issues remain of concern to the campus at UGM. For example, dealing with problems caused by lecturers who are harsh to students or commonly called lecturer killers.

“Lecturers who were fierce in the old days, this is now no longer allowed in UGM. We are very concerned about this. So we're really promoting a comfortable atmosphere,” Wening said.

Other issues that occur in the campus environment he mentions are usually related to peer groups or groups of students. Where, it usually arises as a result of competition in the classroom, conflicts between individuals, falling victim to unhealthy relationships in courtship, and feeling incapable of receiving lessons in the classroom.

Therefore, he said, UGM already has a number of mechanisms that can barricade potential mental health problems in the campus environment. In this case, the pillars of the barricade were formed according to the regulations in the strategic plan of the rector of UGM 2022-2027, namely to realize a healthy, safe, environmentally friendly, cultured, and socially responsible campus.

“One pillar of this structure we used later to create mitigating aspects,” he explained.

Acting Director General of Higher Education, Research, and Technology of the Ministry of Education Budristek Nizam said that students and lecturers who are depressed to suicide can actually be prevented by creating a healthy, safe, and comfortable campus. Where, there is mutual nurturing, compassion, and nurturing among the entire civitas academica. 

“That should not happen when we care about each other, we nurture, love, and nurture each other,” Nizam said.

Meanwhile, President Director of PKJN RSJMM Nova Riyanti Yusuf explained that Indonesia still has challenges in developing mental health programs, such as ambiguous regulations, data shortages, and budget limitations. From the data he presented, there was a trend of increasing self-harm or self-harm behavior.

“In 2000, 6.5 percent. In 2019 it increased to 8.1 percent. So there are increases for mental, neurological disorders, substance abuse, and self harm. Self harm means self-harm,” Nova said.

Based on data from the police that Nova reported, in 2022 there was indeed an increase in the number of suicides in several provinces in Indonesia compared to 2021. The highest number of suicides was recorded in Central Java province, from 232 cases in 2021 to 380 cases in 2022.

“There are two possible reasons why Central Java is highest. He diligently records. It is precisely he who diligently records Central Java and does not have a high awareness of mental health. Then the second yes there is something else,” Nova said.

He explained that PKJN RSJMM is responsible as the national coordinator for mental health treatment and services in Indonesia. In which, the development of community-based mental health services is one of the main goals today. “The development of community-based mental health services is one of the key goals today,” he said.

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