The issue of student suicide has once again made headlines after the University of Toronto confirmed it’s fourth student loss this year. CBC reported that the university is now taking “immediate steps to improve safety” at its main computer science building. Temporary barriers will be installed in the aftermath of a recent student death at the Bahen Centre, the third suicide to have occurred at the location in two years.
According to Varsity, U of T, who in the past have been hesitant to acknowledge on-campus student deaths, has created a memorial outside of the building to help community members mourn after another student took their own life on Friday.
However, the installation of long-term measures could still take time. “We will continue to work on permanent changes,” said Sandy Welsh, Vice-Provost, Students, to U of T News while discussing the temporary safety barriers that were installed last week.
In the meantime, these temporary barriers will help to prevent further suicide cases at this building as the University attempts to come up with a long-term solution.
The news of a U of T student's death by suicide first sparked a heated debate among students back in March. Questions regarding the university's involvement in protecting students' mental health and wellbeing began making headlines after the third on-campus suicide was confirmed earlier this year.
In reaction to the news, hundreds of students silently protested outside the President's office, demanding an increase in the allocation of resources to combat the growing mental health epidemic that plagues the university's three GTA campuses.
Following the news of the most recent death, students once again tackled the “minimal action” being taken by the U of T administration. "This is not a permanent solution of course, but it would at least discourage actions in the most accessible place on campus," said student Catherine Clark while discussing the barriers with CBC.
"After forming several amazing student groups and despite many meetings with university officials since March, when the last suicide occurred, we have seen minimal action from the U of T administration," she added.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental health, there are many resources that you can use. You can visit the Lifeline Canada Foundation to learn more.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with thoughts of harming themselves, please reach out to a trusted peer, parent or health care professional. You can also contact a local helpline which is available 24-hours a day to talk. Or click here, for additional support resources.
If you need immediate assistance please call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest hospital.
Support is available.