North Carolina school is seeing an uptick in the number of student suicides.
The ongoing struggles that people of all ages are facing with regards to mental health have been widely publicized and are becoming more known and recognized by the general public. This is good news, with the high number of mental health emergencies the nation is experiencing, awareness can help strip the stigma and make it easier for people to get the assistance they need.
Unfortunately, along with the mental health crisis has come a high number of suicide deaths, particularly in young people. This is extremely concerning, and it is a more difficult issue to address as people are less likely to talk openly about suicide than they are about mental health in general. Recent events at North Carolina State University have highlighted just how big this problem has become.
Over the course of the ’22- ’23 school year, a shocking total of 14 students died at North Carolina State University. Included in that total were seven suicides, and two more deaths that were from overdoses – which are not categorized as suicides but could potentially be related to mental health issues.
The thought of losing such a high number of young people on a single campus in one school year is hard to comprehend and certainly takes a toll on the rest of the student population. With so many deaths among the student body, it’s likely that most students knew at least one of the students that passed away, either directly or indirectly.
It’s impossible to put all suicides into a single category, as human mental health is endlessly complex and there are many reasons for people to wind up in a place where they feel like suicide is their only option. For college students, however, there seems to be some patterns emerging in terms of the kinds of emotions and situations that often lead to mental health issues.
Specifically, loneliness is a big struggle for young people who have moved away from home and made the transition to life on campus. There are social pressures to fit in and have a great college experience, and when those expectations don’t quite go as planned, it can be a significant blow to the mental health of someone who was previously in a good place.
To help deal with this serious issue, it is believed by some that not only should universities offer mental health support, but some of those programs should be mandatory. It’s common for people who are in a dark place mentally not to want to reach out for help, so better outcomes may be achieved if the help comes to them. Through programs like required attendance at short gatherings where mental health is discussed, it might be possible to reach young people who wouldn’t have otherwise sought help.
There is no single answer to the suicide issue, or the problem of mental health in general. It seems likely that the path forward to a better future starts with people working together, being open about their problems, and being understanding of the issues that others are facing. Through a variety of programs and initiatives, along with increased compassion for others, there will hopefully be fewer of these stories in the years ahead.