Our children deserve better from us
A recent study has revealed a disheartening reality regarding the youth of Bangladesh: More than 50% of them have considered committing suicide at some point in their lives, with 21.3% admitting to having suicidal thoughts during the pandemic.
The survey, which was carried out by the Aachol Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the cause of suicide prevention, also revealed that, of the 2,026 people surveyed, 3.7% of them had actually attempted suicide during the pandemic.
For the longest time, we as a nation paid little heed to the mental health of a generation that was being raised through massive globalization, economic progress, and social development which, to a great extent, had also led to a culture of exploitation. This has inevitably caused anxiety and fear, and yet, mental health issues have been reduced to nothing more than being “crazy” or “sad”.
But to denigrate mental health would not only be incorrect, it would be an affront to the severe psychological issues this new generation was born into, with little to no support or guidance on how to deal with such emerging crises; the survey also revealing that a little over 8% of youths visited a mental health expert for help against over 61% of youths who were found to be suffering from depression.
This, too, is a pandemic, and one which we have merely scratched the surface of and, unlike Covid-19, it has silently destroyed -- and continues to destroy -- future leaders, thinkers, and innovators from ever fulfilling their potential, not to mention the very true reality of depression amongst older individuals that is even less talked about.
The fact that Bangladesh is on the verge of a mental health crisis, if not already very well into it, can no longer be denied or shoved under the rug as just another case of “feeling sad” and “moody,” especially after the pandemic has catalyzed it out of hiding.
Our children deserve better from us -- and what they deserve is for their parents and guardians to educate themselves and others regarding the matter and, through consulting with mental health experts, raising awareness, providing assurance and guidance, and a path towards recovery and hope.