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Academic Tells Of Pressures On Students

Academic Tells Of Pressures On Students
Professor Nigel Healey.
October 10
11:35 2018

In a changing world of social media, uncertainty over the future of

employment prospects and high levels of student tuition debt, young people are under a range of unprecedented pressures that impact their mental health.

This was highlighted yesterday by the Vice Chancellor of Fiji National, University Professor Nigel Healey, at the World Mental Health Day held at FNU Pasifika Campus in Suva.

The theme for this year is: “Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World”.

Professor Healey said that even though it was said that student days were filled with happiness and enjoyment, however it was also a phase where social media bullying and intimidation was quite prevalent.

“Malicious posts on Facebook and the sharing of embarrassing videos and images of young people can be emotionally damaging,” he said.

Another worry for youths was Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics, which posed a threat to their careers.

“At the same time, they compete to get the best grades at university and rack up huge levels of tuition debt,” Professor Healey.

He said suicide was the second leading cause of death globally among 15 to 29-year-olds.

“Depression is now a major issue for young people, as is “self-medicating” through the use of alcohol and illicit drugs,” said Professor Healey.

“We need to recognise that, while being a moody teenager is part of growing up, for many young people life is increasingly stressful.

“Prevention begins with being aware of and understanding the early warning signs and symptoms of mental illness.”

He has called out for parents and teachers to help build resilience in young people, so that they could cope with everyday challenges at home, at school and university.

In addition, Professor Healey said the #MeToo campaign had revealed the scale of sexual harassment in many parts of society, where the topic was previously taboo.

“We need the same open conversation about the pressures on young people and the help they need to maintain their mental health,” he said.

Edited by Epineri Vula




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