North Carolina State University is in mourning after another student committed suicide on Thursday, making it the fourth this semester.
A male sophomore was discovered dead in a residence hall room at the Wolf Village Apartments in the most recent incident, a university spokesperson confirmed to WRAL.
In total, the university lost five students this semester — four to suicide, and one who was killed in an off-campus car accident, the spokesperson said.
The string of deaths has stunned the school’s student body, who were once again mourning after word spread of the latest death on Friday morning.
“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,” senior Jodie Horne told WTVD.
The university held a campus-wide Wellness Day for students a week ago. Classes were canceled, and students were advised to focus on their mental health and communicate with their families. Yoga, crafts, guided walks, and video games were among the calming activities available to students at the school.
“Words can’t express how sad and difficult this is for our students and campus,” NC State said in a statement.
“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.”
Students said they are under immense academic pressure that could be impacting their mental health.
“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,” Alessandro Dal Pra, a chemical engineering major, told WTVD.
To beat the stress, some have tried to turn to activities as an escape.
“I just keep going. Try not to stay stagnate. I go to the gym or find something to do,” Aaron Hills, a computer science major, said.
Suicide was the second leading cause of death for young people aged 10 to 18 in 2019, and the third leading cause of death for those aged 19 to 34, according to the NC State Center for Health and Statistics, WRAL reported.
Local psychotherapist Kamala Uzzell, who is familiar with the university’s counseling center, stated that the school is doing everything possible to support its students but still requires additional assistance.
Over 26,000 undergraduate students attend the massive public college.
“If there is any failing, it’s that we need to have more focus, more attention and more money put toward mental health resources,” she told WRAL.