Apparent suicides at NC State highlight growing need for mental health resources

Four students have now died by suicide at the university this semester.
As the university copes, the need for mental health resources grows, while access remains sparse.
Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 10:43 PM EST
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WBTV) - It’s another somber week for NC State as the university confirmed four students have now died by suicide since the start of the semester.

The latest, the university said, happened at a student housing complex this week.

As the university copes, the need for mental health resources grows, while access remains sparse.

“It’s just devastating,” Madeline Evans, a sophomore at NC State, said.

“[Mental health resources on campus are] really backed up,” she said. “I haven’t sought them out because I know I won’t be seen for a while.”

A statement from the university tells students they are convening, “pouring every resource...available into reaching...students in need.”

“You have way more students that are needing help than they can provide the help,” added Fonda Bryant, a mental health and suicide prevention advocate based in Gastonia.

Bryant said that while we need to focus on providing help on a larger scale, like increasing funding and opportunities to get help outside of campus, there are easy steps we can take to recognize clues that could prevent future suicides.

Her QPR training highlights verbal and behavioral clues, as well as other key signs, that can indicate suicidal thoughts.

“It’s not even the training that I do, it’s simply checking on people and being kind,” she said. “‘How are you doing today? Are you alright? Are you okay?’”

Bryant encourages everyone to attend a training or reach out to her. More information about her session on Dec. 10 can be found below.

In the meantime, the school did emphasize they are creating a task force to reach out to the community, and they are reviewing what they’re doing with mental health services and looking to improve in various ways.

QPR training
QPR training(Fonda Bryant)