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Tue Oct 12, 2021, 09:46 PM

UNC cancels classes after reported suicide and attempt, citing 'mental health crisis'

Source: Washington Post


UNC cancels classes after reported suicide and attempt, citing ‘mental health crisis’

By Brittany Shammas
Today at 5:10 p.m. EDT

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Tuesday canceled classes and declared a “wellness day” after officials said campus police responded to a suicide and an attempted suicide over the weekend.

“We are in the middle of a mental health crisis, both on our campus and across our nation, and we are aware that college-aged students carry an increased risk of suicide,” Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz wrote in a message to the university community. He added, “As chancellor, a professor and a parent, my heart breaks for all those whose suffering goes unnoticed.”

The decision came after a difficult weekend at North Carolina’s flagship public university. At about 11 a.m. Saturday, police were called to investigate a death at the Hinton James Residence Hall, the school’s media relations team said. The incident is being investigated as a suicide, according to a police department crime log.

Then, around 3:30 a.m. Sunday, police responded to another residence hall, Granville Towers South, to investigate what the log described as an attempted suicide.


The student-run newspaper, the Daily Tar Heel, announced it would operate on a “reduced schedule” for the week. Some students planned a protest for Wednesday, and parents said they would host a rally Thursday to help build awareness of the issue of suicide, WRAL reported. (1)(2)


If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255). You can also text a crisis counselor by messaging the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

By Brittany Shammas
Brittany Shammas is a general assignment reporter for The Washington Post. She previously worked for the Miami New Times and the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Twitter https://twitter.com/britsham

(1) https://www.dailytarheel.com/article/2021/10/dth-editors-note-reduced-schedule
(2) https://www.wral.com/coronavirus/parents-students-plan-rallies-at-unc-chapel-hill-after-suicide-investigations/19919065/

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2021/10/12/unc-mental-health-cancel/

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