Three students die from suicide due to education-related problems

Trigger warning: Suicide    

During the quarantine period of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, three students have died of suicide after reportedly experiencing education-related difficulties.

Recently this September 11, a 21-year old female student from Iriga City, Bicol died of suicide due to reported online learning and gadget functionability problems, as mentioned by her parents.

According to Investigator Edward Dacara, the parents have no other reasons in mind but online classes-related concerns. The victim also expressed difficulties with phone signal and internet connection.
Meanwhile, a 21-year old college male student who was unable to enroll for his upcoming academic year (AY) from Sto. Domingo Albay, Bicol also died of suicide last August 18.

In an interview with Tagkaro, the mother of the male student expressed shock and grief over the incident, stating that the only plausible reason was her son’s inability to enroll on time. 

The mother also said that due to poverty and the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, she talked to her child about skipping the upcoming AY.
Additionally, a 19-year old male high school student died due to suicide three months ago on June 16, after saving the life of his friend from attempted suicide.

“He saved the life of his friend but he did not overcome his problem on the high cost of pursuing high school education this school year through an online class,” the mother of the male high school student shared in an interview with The Philippine Examiner.
She also stated that before her son’s death, he was worried about the cost of buying load for data along with internet charges for his online schooling. 

Students’ mental health during the pandemic

Discussion on mental health and wellbeing became prevalent as students brought up the difficulties of transitioning to remote learning amid the pandemic which led some into suicide, as stated with the cases above. 

In response to these cases, the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) Bicol called for a pro-student mode of learning in their statement last September 12 about the third reported incident of education-related suicide in the region.

 “The mental health of students should be highly considered by DepEd and CHED in the pursuit of safe, accessible, and quality education amid the pandemic,” the post reads

With the controversial September 11 announcement of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on the possible academic calendar changes to implement the removal of summer and weekend breaks, conversation about the mental health of students started to blow up on social media.

A post about the CHED announcement from Twitter user @walangpasokfile went viral as many quote retweets said that breaks are necessary for one’s mental state along with posts that students and workers are not robots.
As of writing, the tweet has garnered about 2,500 retweets, 25,100 quote retweets, and 855 replies.

If someone you know is struggling with mental health problems, in crisis or at risk of committing suicide, do not hesitate to reach out to the following:
Manila Lifeline Centre

  • Hotline: (02) 8969191
  • Hotline: Mobile phone: 0917 854 9191

In Touch Philippines 

  • +63 2  893 7603 (Landline)
  • +63 917 800 1123 (Globe)
  • +63 922 893 8944  (Sun)

Philippine Red Cross 24/7 

  • HOPELINE 2919 (toll-free for Globe & TM Subscribers)
  • 091 7558 4673  or  8044673

Philippine Mental Health Association (PMHA) 

National Center for Mental Health 24/7 Crisis Hotlines

  • Mobile: 0917-899-USAP (8727)

Landline: (02) 7-989-USAP (8727) or 1553 (toll-free)


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