Selasa 07 Nov 2023 06:48 WIB

The Mystery of a Student's Death and the Rise in Minor Suicides

17 children were recorded as committing suicide during 2023.

Rep: Dadang Kurnia, Ronggo Astungkoro/ Red: Fitriyan Zamzami
Police officers visited the crime scene of the death of an FKH Unair student in Sidoarjo Regency, East Java, Sunday (5/11/2023)
Police officers visited the crime scene of the death of an FKH Unair student in Sidoarjo Regency, East Java, Sunday (5/11/2023)

JAKARTA — A student at Universitas Airlangga (Unair) Surabaya was found dead in a car with her head covered in plastic and helium gas was found at the scene. The cause of CA's death (21 years old) has not been confirmed as suicide or attempted murder.

Kasatreskrim Polresta Sidoarjo Kompol Tiksnarto Andaru Rahutomo said that police had taken a number of steps to investigate the death of the student at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (FKH) Unair. After processing the crime scene, it immediately went to the victim's apartment. In the apartment, the victim lived with his sister. Police also matched the victim's writing to the contents of a will found along with the victims' remains.

Baca Juga

'And there (the victim's apartment, Red) we found the victim's school records to record lessons. And we found that these two handwritings are identical,” Andaru said on Monday (6/11/2023). Not only that, Andaru continued, the paper that victims used to record lessons with those used to write wills also had similarities. “The paper used is also identical,” he said.

However, Andaru did not want to quickly conclude that the cause of death was suicide or murder. Andaru chose to wait for the conclusion of the autopsy results that are currently still taking place at Bhayangkara Hospital Surabaya.

The bodies of CA were found in a Honda Jazz car with police number AG 1484 BY parked in the courtyard of Jalan H Anwar Hamzah apartment, Tambak Oso Village, Waru District, Sidoarjo Regency, on Sunday (5/11/2023), at approximately 5:30pm. At the scene, in addition to finding helium gas, police also found two wills in English.

Andaru added that it was also conducting toxicology tests on CA's remains to ascertain the cause of death of the victims. “To ascertain the cause of death, we also conducted toxicological tests on samples of the victim's internal organs, whether there was poison or not,” Andaru said. 

Toxicological tests were felt to be necessary because when the victim was found dead, there was also helium gas at the scene. However, as for the results of the toxicology test, Andaru has not been able to reveal it. “Later we will wait for the results,” he said.

This student suicide is like an iceberg phenomenon. Last month, two student suicides occurred in Semarang, Central Java. The first was carried out by NJW (20 years old), a resident of Ngaliyan, Semarang, a student of a public university who was found dead in Mal Paragon, Semarang, on Tuesday (10/10/2023). The next day, a private college student in Semarang with the initials EN (24), a resident of Kapuas, Central Kalimantan, was found dead in his rented room.

Not only college students, the phenomenon of suicide also occurs in schoolchildren. Data from the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) shows that in 2023 there were 17 cases of children ending their lives or committing suicide. The number is thought to still not show the actual number because awareness for reporting child suicides has not been well established.

“So far there have been nine complaints from the mass media. However, after we tracked it down, there were 17 cases. Of the rest of the child suicides on average there has been no awareness reported. (In addition) suicides are often not fully investigated,” KPAI Commissioner Diyah Puspitarini told Republika.

He said that the cases occurred at a vulnerable age, namely the fifth grade of elementary school, the first and second grade of junior high school, as well as the first and second grade of high school/junior high school. There are a number of actions taken by a suicide victim when deciding to end his or her life. “By falling off the school floor, hanging yourself, drowning in a river, crashing on a road or public rail, cutting yourself, etc.,” Diyah said.

He also said mental health is one of a number of factors that cause children to end their lives or commit suicide. Family, school, community, and exposure to social media content play an important role in a child's mental health. “There are factors outside of mental health that are the cause of child suicide. But that does any mental health affect child suicide? Yes, there are, but not all of them,” he said.

He further explained that there are a number of factors that cause children and adolescents to have mental health disorders. The main factor, he said, is the pattern of parenting at home. Another factor is the cultivation of spiritual and religious values in the home to the child. The next factor is still closely related to the family, namely the example of parents to children. Family, school, community, and exposure to social media content play an important role in a child's mental health PARA

“And of course the fourth is the social media factor. So, indeed, this mental health one of them also happens because of the interaction of social media, where the child with the virtual world is much more than the child's interaction with the real world,” he said.

Diyah said that KPAI is also concerned about the recent phenomenon of child suicide. Therefore, it considers that the mental health of children and adolescents today should receive attention and one of the focuses of human development in Indonesia. “The mental health of children and adolescents today should indeed be taken into account and be one of the focuses of human development,” Diyah said.

A police line was installed at the scene of a 6th grade elementary school student who allegedly jump from the 4th floor of SDN 06 Petukangan Utara, Pesanggrahan, South Jakarta, Wednesday (27/9/2023). - (Republika/Thoudy Badai)

In addition, the relationship between the mental health of learners and violence in schools is quite alarming from day to day. The results of a survey conducted by the Indonesia National Adolescent Mental Health Survey in 2022 showed that one in three adolescents aged 10-17 in Indonesia has a mental health disorder.

Looking at the data, Head of the Character Strengthening Center of the Ministry of Cultural Education Research and Technology Rita Utami said that the declining mental state makes learning in school unpleasant. The school is also a less safe and comfortable place for all school residents. “For this reason, it is very important that school residents, especially students, have the knowledge and ability to manage emotions so that they can maintain their mental health,” Rusprita said.

Meanwhile, child psychologist Grace Eugenia Sameve explains, in fact, a good state of mental health is when a person can bring out his or her potential optimally. It's not that good mental health is when someone has never experienced stress. Quite the opposite, good mental health is when a person is able to deal with the stress that he or she is experiencing.

“We know bullying can be one of the factors that a person experiences stress or conditions that are not optimal so that it can decrease their mental health, both short and long term. Whatever the types of bullying, bullying is not justified, so it is better to prevent bullying than to treat it,” Grace said.

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