At the beginning of this month, Fridah Makena, a business management student at Meru National Polytechnic was confirmed dead after she allegedly committed suicide over a heartbreak.
Makena is alleged to have ended her life after she discovered her boyfriend from Cooperative University was cheating on her.
This is not the first time a case of suicide stemming from heartbreak is being witnessed. A few weeks ago, a man hanged himself at Moi University after the girlfriend allegedly broke up with him.
But who exactly is to blame for Makena’s suicide case? And what should be done to reduce the number of suicide cases being witnessed among the youths?
Moi University students opened up on who exactly should take the blame and what should be done to counter the worrying trend of suicide among the comrades.
“Before someone commits suicide he or she takes time to contemplate about it. At this stage, there are signs that the victim will display including being lonely and depressed. So the closest people to the victim should realize these signs and consequently try to advise or counsel the victim. So, in my opinion, I believe if parents become more vigilant and close to their children, then some of these cases may actually be averted successfully,” Brenda Welucho, a third-year Psychology student at Moi University stated.
Do the institutions where these students are enrolled have any role to play in reducing suicide cases?
“Of course the institutions have a major role in guiding the students, especially with their lifestyle. Universities and colleges should set up a strong Guiding and Counselling department where such students who are stressed and depressed can go to for advice. So when such cases are witnessed, it also means that the Guiding and Counselling department at the institutions is sleeping on its job,” Tony Oluoch, a fourth-year communications student said.
Some, however, believe that the company of friends that one keeps is actually a major determinant on how the victim resolves the conflicts especially surrounding relationships.
“At one point I was pushed to the point of almost taking my life after my boyfriend rejected me after he realized I was pregnant. If it were not for my friends, I don’t know what would have happened. I think one's friends can also contribute because we have those friends who instead of consoling you, they only make matters worse,” Cynthia Wanjiku noted.
Comrades have been advised to be on the watch out for their friends and report any unusual cases to the guiding and counselling department at the Kesses-based institution.