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Sunday, May 16, 2021

Western cares: Shepard speaks on prevention

Mid-day on Tuesday, May 24, police reported a student attempted to end his life, according to President Bruce Shepard’s email sent to the student body. The student is alive but remains in serious condition, Shepard confirmed.

Shepard encouraged students to have open conversations about mental illness, depression and suicide, especially during this tough time of the quarter. “Break the stigma surrounding these topics by being willing to discuss them just as you would any other ailment,” he wrote.

Between 6.6 and 7.5 percent of college undergraduate students have seriously considered suicide, according to a 2014 study by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. Washington state’s suicide rate is above the national average of 12.93 per 100,000 people annually, at 15.18  per 100,000 people, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

If students notice a friend having problems, or are having trouble themselves, please reach out to one of the many resources on or off campus, which are listed below.

Western`s Counseling Center in Old Main 540:  (360) 650-3164 during business hours

To reach the after-hours on-call counselor, call (360) 650-3164 and choose option 1;

Western’s Student Health Center in the Campus Services Building:  (360) 650-3400;

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255;

Community Crisis Line (Volunteers of America 24-hour crisis line): 1-800-584-3578;

The Trevor Project (national 24-hour free, confidential suicide hotline for gay and questioning youth): 1-866-488-7386.

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