One in six Norwegian students has suicidal thoughts, new survey shows

Sad woman - girlPhoto: Mia Oshiro Junge / NTB

This year’s health and well-being survey among Norwegian students shows that 45% struggle mentally and 54% feel lonely, far more than before.

This year’s results from the Students’ Health and Well-being Survey (SHoT) were presented digitally on Monday.

The proportion of those in the survey who stated that they thought about taking their own lives during the last two weeks has almost doubled since 2010. At the time, it was 8%. In 2021, it grew to 15%.

“It is cruel to read this. These are painful numbers,” leader Andreas Trohjell of the Norwegian Student Organization (NSO) said during the presentation.

62,000 students participated

The study was an additional study to SHoT aimed at looking specifically at the effects of the pandemic on students’ everyday lives and well-being. More than 62,000 students have participated in the assessment of their own health.

The proportion of those who say they are struggling with serious mental illness has increased from 32% in 2018 to 45% in 2021.

The proportion of those who say they miss someone to be with, feel left out, or isolated, has increased from 30% in 2018 to 54% in 2021.

Serious issue

In 2018, 79% of students said they had good physical health. Now 68% say the same.

“We have probably never seen such high numbers in any other survey,” area director for mental and physical health, Knut Inge Klepp at the National Institute of Public Health (FHI) noted.

He says students are a relatively resourceful group. However, he also noted that the results from the survey are a signal that must be taken seriously.

“It is very serious feedback from very many young people who have had a very tough year. Mental health is high on my priority list,” Minister Henrik Asheim (H) told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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1 Comment on "One in six Norwegian students has suicidal thoughts, new survey shows"

  1. Even the pre-pandemic statistics are jarring.

    In Norway, students seem isolated if not alienated from normal life. Part-time jobs may help, but earlier parenthood – ready assistance for (young) married students with children – could help. Getting down on the floor … Norwegian living and bedrooms need (more) padded rugs … with your little ones helps you re-live your own early joys of life.

    Just casual/uncommitting relationships and sex leave people feeling cold and alone.

    Churches also make people feel part of a community, and caring for and about others and them caring about you can make a big difference, especially for those in cities far from home. As long as you try to *be* “Christian” toward others – kind, courteous, and caring – you have as much right to go to a church as anyone else. Doctrine is far secondary.

    And young far from home and community are vulnerable to drug abuse and sexual abuse and trafficking as well.

    And get OUT into the outdoors and *feel* Life.

    Someone young close to me was in a free-fall suicidal depression, but after they came down to me in Illinois, we got rid of the prozac, and I got them outdoors and physically as well as mentally active, and the problem went away forever.

    Beat your body with active (and safe) physical outdoor exercise, and it will love you … and Life … for it.

    (I myself went into a deep depression my 1 semester at West Point. After American football which I liked – but later discovered had broken my neck – I was assigned to water polo … and decided to go down to the deepest point of the pool and not come back up. My teammates got me back up.
    Fortunately, after I finally got back home again, a pretty little Swedish-Danish-American girl put me back together again, I discovered what Life is really about, and I’ve never looked back … except to think of her.)

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