Suicide rates up on college campuses, including ECU

GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) ECU says suicide rates are up across the country, including here in the east.

At ECU, four students have passed away since the beginning of the semester, including one overdose and two suspected suicides.

The Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Virginia Hardy, said this is often because of stressors like concern about failure and not being accepted that can lead to anxiety and depression when students have unhealthy coping mechanisms.

She said student counseling appointments are up by 17% - but there is one thing good about that. "The stigma of seeking help is dissipating," she said. She also explained that several resources are available on campus like the Counseling Center, Student Health, and the Dean of Students office. "We take them where they are. And honor what they're experiencing and honor what they're feeling and then hopefully, hopefully help them get to a much better place and a much healthier place," said Hardy.

One ECU sophomore, Angeline Trockel, said she knows the resources around campus can help. "Like I've been through stuff like that myself and I know that if you seek the help and actually wanna get better, and make, take the steps to get better, then you will," she said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 47,000 people died by suicide in the United States in 2017. The highest rate was among ages 25-34, followed closely by ages 15-24 - college-aged students.

Help is always just a phone call away on the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.