84.6 percent university students faced mental health crisis during pandemic: Study

The study found that at least 84.6 percent of university students had mental health issues during the pandemic, according to the findings of a recent study.

The report also indicated that female students (87.44 percentage) were at risk of depression than male students (80.38 per cent).

The results of the research which was carried out through the Aachol Foundation, a student founded social group, were presented at a live press conference held on Saturday.

A survey was conducted among 2,552 people from September 12 and 26 this year for the study.

The study found that three out of 4 students (75.5 percent) were not interested in studying, while 53.5 percent were dissatisfied with the online educational system. Of those, 31.9 percent were very dissatisfied.

The study revealed that 1,541 students struggled with mental health problems that led to an uncertain future. 1,537 suffered from loneliness 1 58 students were concerned about session overload and 1,028 faced financial problems after they dropped their tuition.

DEALING WITH BOREDOM

Students who took part in the survey stated that they were trying to boost their morale by participating in a variety of activities.

In their study students, 62 percent were watching web-based or film series to keep them entertained, 39.5 percent maintained correspondence with their classmates either electronically or physically 39.3 percent were listening to the radio, 38.1 percent practiced religious rituals, 38.2 percent read books, 31.1 percent participated in online classes, 28.3 percent played online games or played online games, and 25.1 percent played games both indoors and outdoors or played sports.

In the course of the pandemic that struck the country, 77 percent of students were unable to sleep and 36.7 percent of them were unable to rest well.

EXCESSIVE SCREEN-TIME

Based on the research the study, more than one of 3 students (36.3 percent) were spending seven to eight hours per day glued to a computer screen. 29.8 percent of them spent between five and seven hours, and 25.3 percent spent between three and five hours each day.

The excessive dependency on screens has led to a number of people suffering from mental disorders According to the report.

The study found the following: 56.3 per cent of pupils suffer from headaches, 50 percent suffered from sleeplessness, 38.2 percent did not take their food in a proper manner, 40.99 percent were found to suffer with backaches. 30.4 percent gained weight and 19.3 percent had migraines.

The study revealed that public university students had slightly more mental health problems (86.84 per cent) than students from private universities (80.6 percentage).

Tansen Rose, the founder Aachol Foundation's president, Tansen Rose. Aachol Foundation, while speaking to The Daily Star said, "We find that depression is more prevalent among students who do not sleep well. People who use electronic devices excessively have a higher rate of depression. We need to be aware of moderate sleep, proper use of devices, and worrying in general."

"Everyone needs to come forward to prevent unwanted social pressure on students. It is also necessary to be careful in degrading someone, disregarding them, comparing them with others, etc ... We need to keep in mind that when a student suffers from emotional turmoil, anything can lead them to commit suicide. So, we have to be careful before talking to anyone," the professor said.

President and Founder of the Innovation for Wellbeing Foundation Monira Rarman, in an interview with The Daily Star said, "Parents (in Bangladesh) often try to marry off their daughters. Most of the guardians are thinking that as universities are closed their daughters are getting older ... adding extra pressure on the female students."

Monira stated, "Most of the parents hold unrealistic expectations over their children's heads ... To fulfill those expectations, most students suffer from mental health problems and the pandemic has made it worse."

Professor Mehjabin Haque from the Educational and Counselling Psychology department at Dhaka University told The Daily Star, "Life has stopped in the pandemic. Students could not meet with their friends. They faced anxiety and depression. They were also worried about their uncertain future. Most of them face a financial crisis, and all that adds huge pressure on their mental health."

She stated, "It is not possible to overcome these problems within a short time. As universities are reopening now, teachers should stay beside the students, and not give them additional pressure."

She also recommended keeping in contact with family and friends members, not to be in solitude and to live a balanced life to maintain mental health.

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