VCU asks students, staff to reach out after suicides

Posted at 10:48 PM, Apr 09, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-10 01:23:13-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) --It’s been a rough few weeks for the VCU community after police believe two students took their own lives within a week of each other.

Student Rose Trinity, who knew one the students who died, said an article in the student newspaper detailing the boy's death haunts her.

"It was pretty upsetting," said Trinity. "That was very heartbreaking for me."

VCU sent Trinity and her classmates an email this week saying recent deaths in the VCU community have created great sorrow. The email asks students to show care for their classmates and reach out if they are worried about someone.

Paulina Borkoski said she's not surprised a college student would become depressed.

"I've known a lot of people who have talked about it," Borkoski said. "Leaving your family, feeling like your grades aren't good enough."

School counselor Taryn Adkins said the transition alone can be a lot to handle since students are often times shifting from being a child with structure to a college student with more independence and responsibilities.

Adkins advises students to be on the lookout for signs of distress in person and on social media -- and to take those signs seriously.

"Don't be afraid to say, 'Are you thinking about hurting yourself?'' Adkins said.

If the person is willing to talk, be there to listen because it could ultimately save their life.