GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — NC State University officials are confirming a second probable student suicide on campus early Thursday morning.
This is the second suicide in 24 hours on NC State’s campus, the seventh this school year, and the 11th student death for the Wolfpack since August. Following these tragic events, campuses in Eastern North Carolina are taking necessary precautions to ensure students have access to resources during a mental health crisis.
One big question that needs answers: why have mental health issues been skyrocketing on college campuses in recent years?
“This is traditionally a pretty stressful time anyway as students are trying to move away from home, adjust to living on their own, making new friends and figuring out how to manage their time,” said Dr. Valerie Kisler-van Reede, East Carolina University’s director of the Center for Counseling and Student Development.
University of North Carolina Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, Avery Cook, adds, “We know that this is an age where there are a lot of environmental stressors. Just the pressure of academics and whatever is next. Also, just being off on their own for the first time is an increased stressor, they’re away from their usual supports.”
ECU students Hailey and Marissa Makowski are from New Jersey. They said these expert analyses prove to be true in their lives.
“It’s definitely been hard because all of our family is in Jersey, you don’t have them that close if you need anything,” Hailey Makowski said.
ECU and UNC officials said they have 24/7 resources. Both universities have programs implemented to immediately connect a struggling student to a licensed professional.
“We want to make sure that when students are in distress for whatever reason, that they’re able to get someone immediately to have that support,” said Cook.
But, even with immediate help, ECU students say those struggling may not utilize campus resources.
“Some people feel like they can’t speak about it or talk about it with anybody, they may not feel comfortable talking about it or anything like that.”
In that case, here is how Kissler-van Reede said we can help.
“If you notice that there’s somebody struggling, maybe reach out to them,” she said. “Sometimes people feel like it’s intrusive, but lots of times people are just grateful that somebody noticed.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 9-8-8.