Sustainable mental health approaches stressed for addressing drug, suicide issues
As suicide rate among the youth has increased alarmingly in recent times, a comprehensive approach involving family, educational institutions and society as a whole should be taken to curb the cases
Speakers at a policy discussion underscored the need to address critical issues of drug addiction and suicide prevention by promoting sustainable mental health approaches. As suicide rate among the youth has increased alarmingly in recent times, a comprehensive approach involving family, educational institutions and society as a whole should be taken to curb the cases.
Actionist Foundation, in collaboration with the Department of Narcotics Control (DNC) organised the policy discussion on 'Drug Addiction and Suicide Prevention: Sustainable Mental Health Approaches' at RC Majumder Arts Auditorium in Dhaka University on Tuesday.
Mahjabeen Haque, professor of educational and counseling psychology department at DU in her keynote speech shed light on drug addiction, mental health, and suicide.
She highlighted sustainable approaches for prevention, intervention, and long-term recovery from the issues.
She said at least 10,000 people commit suicide every year in Bangladesh. Consumption of drug increases the tendency to commit suicide. The existing stigma surrounding the mental health should be removed to curb suicide.
Mahjabeen further said a new type of addiction that is ruining many families is addiction to mobile phone.
Nowadays, I find cases where husband and wife do not interact with each other at all and remain glued to mobile screen for better part of the day which affect their marital relations badlyMahjabeen Haque, Professor, Educational and counseling psychology department, DU
“Nowadays, I find cases where husband and wife do not interact with each other at all and remain glued to mobile screen for better part of the day which affect their marital relations badly. Such parents also do not spend quality time with their offspring and thus deprive them of the warmth of family life which cast a pretty negative impact to the children’s life,” she added.
Replying to a question of a student, Mahjabeen urged students to spend time if any of their fellows undergo any mental trauma.
“If you notice any suicidal tendency to your friends, spend time and listen to them as much as you can.”
Md Akhter Hossain, principal coordinator for SDGs Affairs of the Prime Minister's Office, said despite efforts from DNC dangerous drugs such as crystal meth has reached even far flung areas of the country.
It is unfortunate to hear that many students commit suicide failing to get job, he said.
“It is totally unexpected. Getting job should not be the only aim in someone’s life. Even if graduates can’t secure a job, they can build career in freelancing. A lot of Bangladeshi youths are doing fantastic job in freelance and earning a handsome amount of money.”
Unilever Consumer Care Ltd’s chairman Masud Khan pointed out that county’s higher education curriculum is failing to prepare students as per the requirements of the job market and many students get frustrated failing to secure job. “Students should prepare themselves beforehand to secure job so that they don’t have to fall into trap of drug addiction due to joblessness.”
He urged the students to learn data analytics and enterprise resource planning (ERP) as these subjects will have demand in the future job sectors.
Imran Hossain Bhuiyan, assistant professor of Development Studies at DU, moderated the policy discussion that was presided over by Actionist Foundation’s chair Sharin Naomi.
The session had the introductory speech from Zafarullah Kazal, additional director of DNC’s Dhaka division, with ANM Fakhrul Amin, founder and executive director of Actionist Foundation, among others spoke at the event.
The event was attended by diverse audience, including government officials, academics, mental health professionals, representatives from non-governmental organisations, and students of different universities.