An official of a university in the Iranian capital Tehran has said that the Ministry of Science has ordered universities to form committees to prevent suicides and “harmful behaviors” in all universities.
Gholamreza Latifi, Student Affairs Deputy of Allameh Tabatabai University told the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) on Wednesday that his university has already formed such a committee.
According to Latifi the most common harmful behaviors prevalent among students are drug abuse and smoking. “If a student is proved to be an addict he will be deprived of living on campus,” Latifi was quoted as saying.
There is no official statistics on the prevalence of suicide among university students but several cases have been reported by the media lately.
In December 2019 four male and female students died under suspicious circumstances in Shahid Chamran and Jondi Shapour universities of Ahwaz, the capital of Khuzestan Province.
The deaths of these students was not publicly announced but according to unconfirmed reports they had committed suicide.
Statistics on suicide in Iran are not published regularly but in 2019 an official of the Health Ministry said about 100,000 attempted suicides had been reported in one year.
According to Maryam Abbasi who is in charge of the Suicide Prevention Program of the Health Ministry, more people commit suicide in the western regions of Iran. She also said the number of attempted suicides increased from 94 to 125 in 100,000 between 2015 and 2018 while annually five in 100,000 died of suicide in the country.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2014 the suicide rate of Iran was 5.3 in every 100,000 people. In that year, the rate of suicide based on gender was 3.6 for women and 7 for men. Seasonally, most suicides occurred in summer with the rate of 35.2% of all suicides; 13% higher than any other season.
WHO statistics say 800,000 die due to suicide every year in the world but there are indications that each adult who dies by suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide.