Full Project – THE ROLE OF GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING SERVICES IN THE PREVENTION OF SUICIDE AMONG STUDENT IN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Guidance and counseling services play a crucial role in addressing the mental health needs of students in tertiary institutions. These services aim to provide support, guidance, and counseling to students who may be experiencing emotional distress, including thoughts of suicide. By offering a safe and confidential space for students to express their concerns, guidance and counseling services can help identify and intervene in potential suicide cases.
Research has shown that the presence of guidance and counseling services in tertiary institutions can significantly contribute to suicide prevention. For example, a study conducted by Smith et al. (2023) found that students who utilized counseling services were less likely to report suicidal ideation and were more likely to seek help when experiencing emotional distress.
Furthermore, guidance and counseling services often collaborate with other campus resources, such as mental health professionals, student support services, and faculty members, to create a comprehensive support system for students. This multidisciplinary approach ensures that students receive the necessary assistance and resources to address their mental health concerns effectively.
In addition to providing immediate support, guidance and counseling services also focus on prevention through education and awareness programs. These programs aim to promote mental health literacy, teach coping strategies, and raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of suicide risk. By equipping students with the knowledge and skills to identify and address mental health issues, guidance and counseling services can help prevent suicide among students.
It is important to note that the effectiveness of guidance and counseling services in suicide prevention may vary across different institutions and contexts. Factors such as the availability of resources, the training and expertise of counselors, and the overall campus culture can influence the impact of these services. Therefore, it is crucial for institutions to continuously evaluate and improve their guidance and counseling programs to ensure they are meeting the specific needs of their student population.
Counseling is one of the educational services. Educational services as contained in the National Policy of Education (NPE) (2004) are to “facilitate the implementation of the educational policy, the attainment of policy goals and the promotion of effectiveness of educational services is to “make learning experience more meaningful for children”. Based on these goals, the counseling activities in schools are beneficial because what the counselors working with students in tertiary institution guide them thoroughly to help them succeed in their educational pursuit.
According to Okobrah and Okorodudu (2006) counseling is encompassed by activities of relevant services and also processes of helping persons within and outside the school, to achieve their full potentialities in their emotional, moral, social, academic and vocational developments. In this paper, the focus is on the achievement of full academic potentials through the proper utilization of the services of counseling programmes in tertiary institutions.
Counseling according to Akpon (2010) is “an educational service that seeks to provide the school child opportunity to obtain holistic education development that prepares him for functional life.” Ipaye (2000) sees counseling from educational perspective as those experiences that help pupils to understand themselves, accept themselves and live effectively in their society. Esen (2008) says that counseling is aimed primarily at assisting the receiver to discover his own hidden strengths and ultimately grow in independence.He summarizes the definition of counseling as a systematic and organized educational helping service, professionally given by a professionally trained counselor or therapists to a learner of any age, within or outside the school walls at appropriate level. The essence is to assist him understand himself, situation and environment, discover his interests, potentialities and opportunities in life and learn how best to effectively utilize his assets as well as minimize his weaknesses, to live a maximum productive life.
As a result of these definitions by these scholars, counseling therefore is a human oriented programme which is based on helping the individual to define and redefined his goals and aspirations in life pursuits for greater productivity.
In counseling profession, there are many services that the professional counselor renders to the school and the host community.This include vocational education.The educational services in counseling is a serves which takes care of all issues associated with education as they relates to the physical environment of the school, the structural make up of the school, activities within the school. To this end Olayinka (2009) says that academic counseling is assisting student make the most appropriate use of their educational opportunities. Also Egbule (2006) defines educational counseling as assistance given to pupils and students that enable them function well in the school. He continues by saying that it assists them in understanding themselves and how their potentials could be developed with these definitions, education counseling for the adolescents is sin-qua-non if they must achieve maximally.
Suicide among students in Tertiary Institutions is a pressing issue that requires immediate attention. The increasing number of suicide cases among students has raised concerns about the effectiveness of existing preventive measures. One potential solution lies in the role of guidance and counseling services, which can play a crucial role in identifying at-risk students and providing them with the necessary support.
Guidance and counseling services in Tertiary Institutions can contribute to suicide prevention by creating a safe and supportive environment for students. These services can offer a range of interventions, including individual counseling, group therapy, and crisis intervention. By providing a platform for students to express their emotions and concerns, guidance and counseling services can help alleviate the feelings of isolation and hopelessness that often precede suicidal thoughts.
Another important aspect of guidance and counseling services is their ability to identify early warning signs of suicide risk. Trained professionals can recognize behavioral changes, such as withdrawal from social activities, sudden academic decline, or increased aggression, which may indicate a student’s vulnerability to suicidal ideation. By promptly addressing these warning signs, counselors can intervene and provide the necessary support to prevent a potential tragedy.
In addition to individual counseling, guidance and counseling services can also organize preventive programs and workshops to raise awareness about mental health issues and suicide prevention. These programs can educate students about the importance of seeking help, provide coping strategies for stress management, and promote a culture of empathy and support within the institution.
Collaboration between guidance and counseling services and other stakeholders, such as teachers, parents, and healthcare professionals, is crucial in the prevention of suicide among students. By working together, these parties can share information, coordinate efforts, and ensure a holistic approach to student well-being. Regular communication and collaboration can help identify students who may be slipping through the cracks and ensure they receive the necessary support.
However, it is important to acknowledge that guidance and counseling services alone cannot solve the complex issue of suicide prevention among students. Adequate funding, training, and resources must be provided to support these services and ensure their effectiveness. Additionally, a comprehensive approach that addresses the underlying factors contributing to student distress, such as academic pressure, bullying, or family issues, is essential for long-term prevention.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
One of the main problems in studying the role of guidance and counseling services in the prevention of suicide among students in Tertiary Institutions is the lack of comprehensive data. Suicide is a sensitive and complex issue, and many cases go unreported or are not properly documented. Without accurate and detailed data, it becomes challenging to analyze the effectiveness of counseling services and identify areas for improvement.
Another problem is the stigma surrounding mental health and seeking help. Many students may be hesitant to reach out for counseling services due to fear of judgment or social repercussions. This stigma can prevent students from accessing the support they need, making it difficult to evaluate the impact of counseling services on suicide prevention.
The limited resources available for guidance and counseling services pose another challenge. Tertiary Institutions often face budget constraints, which can result in understaffed counseling departments and limited access to mental health professionals. Insufficient resources can hinder the effectiveness of counseling services in addressing the complex needs of students at risk of suicide.
Additionally, the diversity of student populations in Tertiary Institutions presents a unique challenge. Students come from various cultural backgrounds, and their experiences and perceptions of mental health may differ. It is crucial to consider cultural sensitivity and tailor counseling services to meet the specific needs of different student groups. However, this requires a deep understanding of cultural nuances and may require additional training for counselors.
The lack of standardized protocols and guidelines for suicide prevention in Tertiary Institutions is another problem. While some institutions may have established procedures in place, others may lack a comprehensive framework for addressing suicide prevention. This inconsistency can lead to variations in the quality and effectiveness of counseling services, making it difficult to assess their impact on suicide prevention.
Lastly, the long-term effectiveness of guidance and counseling services in preventing suicide among students in Tertiary Institutions is a problem that needs to be addressed. While short-term interventions may provide immediate support, it is essential to evaluate the long-term outcomes and sustainability of these services. Longitudinal studies and follow-up assessments are necessary to determine the lasting impact of counseling services on suicide prevention.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of the study is to examine the role of guidance and counseling services in the prevention of suicide among student in Tertiary Institutions in Ado-Ekiti Local Government area of Ekiti State. Specifically, the objectives are to:
- Find out the effectiveness of counseling programme in tertiary institutions.
- Examine the attitude of students towards educational career counseling in their schools.
- Evaluate the role of guidance and counseling services in the prevention of suicide among student
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The study is focusing in finding solution to the following research questions:
- What are the effectiveness of counseling programme in tertiary institutions?
- What is the attitude of students towards educational career counseling in their schools?
- What are the roles of guidance and counseling services in the prevention of suicide among student?
1.5. RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The hypothesis for the study is stated below:
HO: Guidance and counseling services will not prevent suicide among student in Tertiary Institution.
H1: Guidance and counseling services will prevent suicide among student in Tertiary Institution.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study examines role of guidance and counseling services in the prevention of suicide among student in Tertiary Institutions. The researcher focused on Ado-Ekiti Local Government Area of Ekiti State. This study will be restricted to selected tertiary institution in Ekiti State.
1.7 SIGNIFICANT OF THE STUDY
The significance of this study lies in the growing concern over the alarming rates of suicide among students in Tertiary Institutions. Suicide is a complex issue that requires a comprehensive approach, and guidance and counseling services play a crucial role in addressing this problem. By examining the role of these services in preventing suicide, this study aims to contribute to the development of effective strategies and interventions that can be implemented in Tertiary Institutions and similar educational settings.
One of the key reasons why this study is significant is the potential impact it can have on the well-being and mental health of students. Suicide not only affects the individual who takes their own life but also has a profound impact on their friends, family, and the entire educational community. By understanding the role of guidance and counseling services in preventing suicide, educational institutions can better support their students and create a safe and nurturing environment that promotes mental health and well-being.
Additionally, this study is significant because it can help identify the specific challenges and barriers that exist in providing effective guidance and counseling services in Tertiary Institutions. By examining the current practices and resources available, this research can shed light on areas that need improvement and provide recommendations for enhancing the quality and accessibility of these services. This, in turn, can contribute to the overall improvement of mental health support systems in educational institutions.
Another aspect of the significance of this study is its potential to contribute to the existing body of knowledge on suicide prevention. While there is a considerable amount of research on suicide prevention, there is still a need for more specific studies that focus on the role of guidance and counseling services in educational settings. By filling this gap, this study can provide valuable insights and contribute to the development of evidence-based practices in suicide prevention.
Furthermore, the significance of this study lies in its potential to inform policy and decision-making processes in educational institutions. By providing evidence of the effectiveness of guidance and counseling services in preventing suicide, this research can influence the allocation of resources and the development of policies that prioritize mental health support in Tertiary Institutions. This can lead to the implementation of proactive measures that address the root causes of suicide and promote a culture of well-being and resilience among students.
Lastly, the significance of this study extends beyond Tertiary Institutions. Suicide among students is a global issue, and the findings of this research can have implications for educational institutions worldwide. By sharing the results and recommendations of this study, other institutions can learn from the experiences and best practices identified, ultimately contributing to the collective efforts in preventing suicide among students globally.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Tertiary Institution: A tertiary institution refers to a higher education institution that provides post-secondary education, such as universities, colleges, and vocational schools. These institutions offer various academic programs and degrees to students who have completed their secondary education.
Suicide: Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one’s own death. It is a tragic and complex phenomenon that can result from a combination of psychological, social, and environmental factors. Suicide is often associated with mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse, but it can also be influenced by other factors such as interpersonal conflicts, financial difficulties, or a sense of hopelessness. It is a serious public health concern and requires comprehensive prevention strategies and support systems to address.
Guidance: Guidance refers to the process of providing advice, support, and direction to individuals in order to help them make informed decisions and navigate through various aspects of their lives. It involves assisting individuals in identifying their strengths, weaknesses, interests, and goals, and providing them with the necessary information and resources to make choices that align with their personal and academic development.
Counseling: Counseling is a therapeutic process that involves a trained professional providing guidance, support, and assistance to individuals who are facing personal, emotional, or psychological challenges. It aims to help individuals explore their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, and develop strategies to cope with difficulties, improve their well-being, and achieve their goals. Counseling can be provided in various settings, such as schools, colleges, and mental health clinics.
Student: A student is an individual who is enrolled in an educational institution and is actively pursuing academic studies or training. Students can be of different ages and educational levels, ranging from primary school to higher education. They engage in learning activities, attend classes, complete assignments, and participate in various academic and extracurricular activities. Students are typically guided and supported by teachers, counselors, and other educational professionals to ensure their academic success and personal development.
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Full Project – THE ROLE OF GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING SERVICES IN THE PREVENTION OF SUICIDE AMONG STUDENT IN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS