The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill canceled classes and declared a “welfare day” on Tuesday, officials said as campus police responded to the suicide and attempted suicide over the weekend.
“We are in the midst of a mental health crisis, on our campus and across our country, and we know that college-aged students are at increased risk of suicide,” Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said in a message to the university community. Wrote. He continued, “As chancellor, professor and parent, my heart breaks for all those whose suffering goes unnoticed.”
The decision came after a rough weekend at North Carolina’s premier public university. The school’s media relations team said police were called to investigate a death at Hinton James Residence Hall at around 11 a.m. Saturday. According to the crime log of the police department, the incident is being investigated as a suicide.
Then, around 3:30 a.m. Sunday, police responded to another residence hall, Granville Towers South, to investigate what Logg described as a suicide attempt.
Student leaders responded by calling for the cancellation of classes and university events in an effort to make mental health a priority.
The UNC Undergraduate and Vocational Student Government said in a joint statement with the UNC Student Government Executive Branch, “Students need immediate action from the university to ensure that their mental health needs are being considered and met.” He is going.” He added, “The loss of a tar heel is too much.”
The Daily Tar Heel, a student-run newspaper, announced that it would operate on a “shortened schedule” for the week. WRAL reported that some students planned protests on Wednesday and parents said they would host a rally on Thursday to help create awareness about the issue of suicide.
Claire Landis, a respondent for student support group Peer2Peer, told the station she had seen an increase in calls during the past two weeks as the midterm approach.
“We have almost a second epidemic on our hands with mental health and suicide,” she told WRAL.
Guskiewicz said in his letter that he met with student and faculty leaders over the weekend and decided that a wellness day would be “a step in addressing mental health”. He urged the students to take time to rest and check on each other.
“Contact a friend, classmate, or coworker and ask them, ‘Honestly, how are you?’ ” he wrote.
Guskiewicz said UNC plans to offer a “specialized support network” through the week, working with counseling services, the Department of Psychiatry and the schools of medicine and social work. Students, faculty, and staff can turn to the network to find resources and discuss their experiences.
The university also plans to hold a mental health summit this month and launch a campaign, the Heels Care Network, to promote awareness of the issue.
“At Carolina, we strive to put our students first in everything we do,” Guskiewicz wrote. “We are living in a world that is constantly changing and changing. We are facing huge challenges and the impact this is having on our health cannot be underestimated. It can be an individual or Can’t be solved one day alone.”
If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255). You can also message a crisis counselor by texting the crisis text line at 741741.