Five students, ranging from sophomores to a Ph.D candidate jumped to their
deaths in May in Beijing. The alarming death toll has set off a psychological
health raid launched by Renmin University to tackle students' mental problems,
reported the China Youth Daily Monday.
Renmin University has classified
students vulnerable to mental problems into 12 categories, including students
doing poorly in exams, students who are unsocial, and those from poor families
or underdeveloped regions with low self-esteem.
A flower basket with a banner reads "cherish our lives" was
placed at the site where a Ph.D candidate jumped to her death on the
campus of Renmin University in this undated photo. [Xinhua]
The university authority believes suicide attempts could be prevented at an
early stage, and the university is now asking departments to be responsible in
detecting these problems earlier.
"Suicide is a long process full of huge psychological conflicts, and signs of
those conflicts will reveal themselves, just like animals who feel uneasy before
an earthquake," says Lin Yonghe, a professor with Beijing Technology and
However Ma Shaohua, a teacher with Renmin University voiced his concerns
about the raid itself. "It delivers a negative message, including distrust," Ma
wrote in his blog.
"Many students are on the brink of a suicide attempt, but they do not want
help from their teachers or university counselling centers because they fear the
information will be leaked to the school authority, which will bring them more
troubles," explained Fei Lipeng, director of Beijing Suicide Research and
Fei doubts the effectiveness of the campus counselling centers, which are
restrained by funds, equipments, and professional staff to handle the situation.
It is reported that there were only 108 psychologists on the Beijing campus
for some 700,000 local university students in 2006.
According to the report, the Beijing Suicide Research and Prevention Center
is pushing forward a plan to help students adapt to the university environment.
Fei said the plan will ensure every students' participation in the next three to