NEWS of suicide always comes tragic.

This week, the whole nation was shocked to hear suicide – or attempted suicide – among our young students which occurred at a time when our school is about to close for the two-month summer vacation.

The suicide of Kristel Tejada, a 16-year-old student of the University of the Philippines in Manila, was allegedly triggered by the school’s refusal to extend her scholarship.

Kristel was forced to file a leave of absence in the middle of the second semester for failing to come up with P10,000 for her tuition.

And then, in Cagayan de Oro, another student, Jessamin Remadavia, 17 years old, is now on critical condition after she attempted to commit suicide after getting depressed for failing to make it to the top honor list in her school.

She reportedly drank an insecticide to end her life.

In Batangas City, a 2nd year high school student, Lee Young Gunay, shot himself in the head after he allegedly could not bear the bullying he suffered in the hands of his classmates at Saint Bridget College.

Gunay was reportedly also depressed after he failed in his Math class.

These three suicide incidents have triggered national discourse on what ails our young people as well as the pitiful state of our educational institutions. One could not help but ask whether suicide among our young students is rising.

In 2012, incidence of suicide in the Philippines is said to have increased 10-fold over a 20-year period, taking the lives of mostly young people in their 20s, according to Dr. Dinah Palmera Nadera, a fellow of the Philippine Psychiatric Association.

In her “Suicide in the Philippines: A Second Look,” Nadera attributed the increase to slightly better suicide reporting and to increased suicide risks, like poverty and inequality as well as clinical depression.

While she admitted that overall suicide rate in the Philippines still remains low at 2.1 per 100,000 and suicide reporting remains poor (with police normally classifying it as “death under inquiry”), the increase in suicides is too hard not to be noticed at all.

There is no time to blame people or institutions.

Suicide is suicide and it is always tragic.

Instead of blaming each other, it is best to take action, one concrete is making toxic liquid, such as the silver cleaner fluid, inaccessible to the general public.


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