NCSU Wolfpack family dealing with another student's death suicide, 4th in 2022

Sunday, November 13, 2022
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Suicide is the number 2 cause of death for college students, according to a national college health risk behavior survey.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Friday, word quickly got around the NC State campus about another student's death by suicide.

It is the fourth one this year for the Wolfpack family. The student was found dead in a residence hall.

"When I heard about the first one, it really hit. Another one happened. Then another happened and one happened yesterday. I don't know what to do anymore," said senior student Jodie Horne.

The university identified the student as a male living in the Wolf Village Apartments. Students are devastated about the loss, but told ABC11 it's the academic pressure that's causing the distress.

"I know that's one of the things that bothers me a lot. So I understand where that struggle comes from. The need to succeed is big pressure," said Alessandro Dal Pra, a chemical engineering major.

It's something that has students on campus talking. When things gets tough Aaron Hills finds ways to relieve the pressure.

"I just keep going. Try not to stay stagnate. I go to the gym or find something to do," said Hills a computer science major.

WakeMed psychologist Dr. Jessica Tomasula says it's important to identify these signs if someone is struggling.

"It's fantastic if college students can relieve that pressure in healthy ways," she said. "Being able to understand hopelessness when you hear it, lack of belonging and feeling like a burden to others."

NC State held a Wellness Day last Thursday, which gave the campus community time to check in with their family and friends, but students say they need more support.

"Everything we missed on that one day had to be made up at a later day. Everything felt more rushed the week after we had our first Wellness Day," said Dal Pra.

Pra talking about the campus-wide wellness day. No classes were held as students were given the time to look after their mental health. The university provided a bevy of resources, including counselors for students and staff.

The wellness day was created after students started a petition for monthly wellness days not long after the third student's death. Within 24 hours the petition exceeded the goal of 2,500 signatures.

Suicide is the number 2 cause of death for college students, according to a national college health risk behavior survey.

Senior Lilly Wallace started a petition to get more mental health days; hoping for maybe one a month or even more of a break to be an actual break versus having to study during that break. She said the transition to college has been made that much harder because of the pandemic

"I just keep seeing that people are saying they can't imagine how their families feel, I can't imagine how their classmates and friends feel, can't be any worse than this," Wallace said. "I don't think that this is a perfect solution and I don't know if there is a perfect solution but I think it's a step in the right direction."

Iman Hosseini is a Sophomore from Botswana. He said he deferred coming to NC State for a year because he didn't want to be in Raleigh learning online. Hosseini said his professors delayed assignments from this week to next because of the tragedy this week.

"As a society, as a school as we're moving forward things are in place to help our us. When something like happens, it's unfortunate and sad," he said. "That social interaction is a key part of the learning process to be in class to ask the questions right so it can definitely have an impact."

NC State released this statement about the news of another student's death:

"Words can't express how sad and difficult this is for our students and campus. The university is pouring every resource we have available into reaching our students in need and providing them support and guidance. Our staff and medical professionals are working around the clock to help steer students to the many resources currently available, and we've asked our new student mental health task force to develop additional short-term and long-term strategies to help our students.

If you are concerned about a student, colleague or friend, please review this information from NC State Prevention Services. You can also make an online referral for a student or employee you are concerned about."

According to NC State's Counseling Center, 27 percent of students report being so depressed in the past year that it was difficult to function. Students on campus Saturday evening said the academic pressure is getting to some of their classmates.

"I think a lot of it comes down to making sure that you prioritize your own needs. And like if you have to put that over academic, and that's what you have to do. But it is a really hard choice because especially in today's climate, like, academics is really a necessity in today's especially if you're looking for a career post-college," Chloe Leffler said.

The University provided this list of resources available now to students

RPD's new mental health crisis unit rarely responds to suicide or involuntary commitment calls