18-year-old Upper Six student at ZRP High School commits suicide
Suicide among students continues to raise concerns about a mental health crisis that is tearing through both junior and senior educational institutions in Zimbabwe.
On 4 May 2021, The Conversation reported a rise in anxiety and depression, especially among the young people due to the effects of Covid-19.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) on Tuesday reported a suicide incident that happened at ZRP High School on Monday.
The police have since instituted investigations into the matter.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police confirms the tragic and unfortunate death of an upper sixth student, Prince Tawonezvi (18) at ZRP High School on 13th March 2023 at 1700 hours,” read a statement by police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi.
“The student allegedly committed suicide in circumstances which are now subject to investigations.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police expresses condolences to the Tawonezvi family and students at the school.”
Michael Gwarisa, a health expert and editor-in-chief of The Health Times, recently wrote that the spike of suicide cases, especially among male tertiary students, was a cause for concern.
“Due to the African upbringing and culture, mental health issues are frowned upon … The situation gets worse in men, or males, because society expects them to toughen up, show a bold face, and bottle it all in, even if they are going through the most turbulent of times.
“Mental health in tertiary institutions has been neglected for a while and, of late, the picture shows that more male than female students are committing suicide,” Gwarisa said.
He further pointed out that, the fact that men and boys find it difficult to speak about their problems or seek help, contributes to the higher number of suicide cases recorded among male students.
“Unlike road accidents that happen instantly, for example, suicide is not something that happens out of the blue. Many times, the symptoms are there, but rarely do we pay attention to them. We need to start prioritising mental health issues,” Gwarisa added.
The latest data by the World Health Organization shows that 14 people out of 100,000 in Zimbabwe die due to suicide.