The death of a veterinary student from Airlangga University in her car as a result of suicide has opened the public's eyes to the fact that mental health deserves greater attention.
Several other cases must also be considered to receive joint attention to prevent similar cases from recurring. Efforts to overcome mental illness must be carried to realize a Golden Indonesia 2045 that requires a healthy generation, both physically and mentally.
The Basic Health Research in 2018 showed that the prevalence of depression in Indonesian society was 6.1 percent.
At a talk show conducted by the Cempaka Study Club in Jakarta, the National Mental Health Center at the Dr H. Marzoeki Mahdi Bogor Mental Hospital recorded that depression, anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia mostly constituted the highest number of conditions of mental disorders during the 2000-2019 period.
The illness not only afflicts adults but also teenagers. Data from research conducted in 2019 stated that of the 910 high school and vocational school students in Jakarta, 13.8 percent could likely commit suicide on account of loneliness, felt like they were a burden, wanted to be something, and had lost hope for the future. Meanwhile, the average age of those committing suicide in Indonesia is in the early 20s, with most victims committing the crime at home.
This figure is expected to not continue to rise over time. Hence, as a national mental health center, the hospital continues to teach teenagers to become the best versions of themselves.
During the growing up period, young people should avoid being influenced by on social media or from expectations set by others.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines mental health as a condition of mental well-being, that allows people to cope with stressors in their life, realize their abilities, study and work well, and contribute to their community. Mental health is a fundamental human right, an important foundation for personal, community, and social and economic development.
Someone can be categorized as mentally healthy if that person avoids or does not experience symptoms of mental disorders or neurosis and mental illness. Mental problems that are not resolved properly will have a negative impact on the development of teenagers in the future, especially on character development and can trigger disorders in mental and emotional development.
The Directorate General of Higher Education, Research and Technology of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology encourages universities to create healthy, safe, and comfortable ecosystems to support their students' mental health.
According to the ministry, the concept of a healthy campus is a combination of physical and mental health. This effort aims to help students struggling with mental illness to become strong and resilient in facing various problems.
In addition, the definition of a healthy campus according to the ministry is a smoke-free campus area that also encourages routine exercise for campus communities to establish a balance between academic achievements and students’ health.
The concept of a healthy campus also includes being intellectually healthy, wherein students can interact with lecturers critically and analytically, through good and polite discussion followed by being emotionally or psychologically healthy. Mental health is essential and needs to be built together by all campus communities, including students' families.
Regarding regulations, the Ministry of Education and Culture already has an Anti-Sexual Violence Task Force to prevent bullying practices and other forms of violence to maintain students’ mental health.
Furthermore, the government, through the Dr H. Marzoeki Mahdi Bogor Mental Hospital, is designing a suicide prevention roadmap as well as mapping and re-registering suicide cases.
There is also a 24-hour counseling service, namely D'Patens 24, which can be accessed by all students via telephone and short messages.
Moreover, Health Law Number 17 of 2023 in Article 75, paragraph 2 states that mental health efforts, including endeavors to prevent suicide, is carried out through preventing risk factors for suicide and preventing thoughts of self-harm and suicide.
One of the suicide prevention efforts that can be made is to limit access to the tools used to commit suicide. When someone feels the urge to use a knife and sharp objects to inflict self-harm, the family must be informed to remove such objects, including at the hospital.
Moreover, media should ensure responsible reporting of suicide cases while desisting from creating news headlines that may trigger copycatting by members of the audience.
Efforts to maintain mental health are not only the responsibility of one party but also of all components of society to realize a strong generation of Golden Indonesia that is not only physically but also mentally healthy.
The concern of all parties to always be sensitive to the situation around them really helps young people to not give in to shortcuts in the face of problems.
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