THE National University of Science and Technology (Nust) has urged students to utilise counselling and advisory services provided by the institution following a second suicide involving a student in a month.
The latest incident involves Alpha Kayeruza a part four student doing a Degree in Biology and Biochemistry who on Saturday committed suicide by throwing himself in a dam in Mvurwi in Mashonaland central province.
Last month, a part three student Vernon Musomera who was doing a degree in Property Development and Estate Management, is said to have killed himself at his parents’ home in Nkwisi Gardens, Tynwald in Harare.
Nust Director for Communication and Marketing, Mr Thabani Mpofu assured students that the counselling and advisory services uphold confidentiality.
“As a university, we offer counselling services through the Students Counselling and Advisory Services located at the Division of Student Affairs. The office, which is manned by full-time professional counsellors, offers free and confidential interventions to all students. These vary from individual counselling sessions, group counselling sessions for students with shared interests, to workshops for common campus life challenges such as Substance Abuse, Sexual and Reproductive Health, HIV and Aids, Depression, and Anxiety management,” he said.
“The Counselling and Advisory Services office works very closely with other service centres like the Chaplaincy, the NUST Clinic, Student Representative Council (SRC) and academic departments and faculties in providing effective and timely services to students. We continue to encourage students to utilise the Students’ Counselling and Advisory office, which offers services on personal health and psychological concerns; inter/intrapersonal problems; academic pressures and financial challenges; family concerns including illness and bereavement; developmental issues such as relationships and anger management; transitional challenges like separation anxiety and phobia; anxiety; suicidal ideations; cultural diversity; abilities/disabilities diversity; Sexual and Reproductive Health issues and HIV and Aids information and support among others.”
Mr Mpofu said before the Covid-19 pandemic, the counselling services were easily accessible on campus.
However, adapting to the new normal, the University, working together with the students’ representative council (SRC) and in partnership with non-governmental organisations, will soon be running virtual awareness campaigns to support students who are studying in the comfort of their homes across the country.
“We appeal to parents and guardians to contact the University whenever they notice unusual behaviour of their children, who are our students, so that they can be assisted through Counselling and Advisory Services office,” said Mr Mpofu.
Pastor Patrick from Spirit Embassy The Good News Church (TGNC) Bulawayo said:
“Generally, when someone commits suicide they feel like there is nothing else, they can do, they feel like their problems have no solution but forgetting that there is always a solution with God. The Bible says nobody has the power to give himself life nor does anybody have the power to take away his own life. They lack knowledge that there’s always a solution with God, God is always there to talk to,” he said.