University of Toronto President Meric Gertler says the school is open to suggestions from students about how to provide better support for mental health following a recent suicide on campus.
“First of all, we feel your pain and we understand why you are frustrated, anxious, angry,” Gertler told CBC Radio’s Metro Morning on Wednesday. “Secondly, we would welcome their suggestions about things we can do better. I would be the first to admit that our system is not perfect.”
The university has acknowledged that “a student fell to his death” on Sunday night. But in public statements, it has not used the word suicide. No details about the student have been released.
Gertler said on Wednesday the university did not use the word suicide out of respect for the family’s wishes.
He added that the university offered to meet with students after Monday’s protest and sit-in outside Simcoe Hall, which houses the president’s office. Dozens of students called for action after a number suicides they say have gone unacknowledged over the past year.
The school needs to make sure students in crisis are aware of the resources available to them, the president added.
“We have to do a better job of making sure students know where to turn,” Gertler said.
Students have criticized the university for refusing to use the word suicide and they say U of T is refraining from acknowledging the number of recent suicides and the depth of mental health challenges on campus to protect its academic reputation.
Brian Hao, a first year political science student, knew the student who died.
“Until this is talked about and until this is acknowledged, nothing is going to change,” Hao said. “The university should be proactive, not reactive. And this, I don’t understand it.”
Gertler said the death is “really hard to take,” and said administration is encouraging faculty and staff to urge students to seek help if they are in emotional distress. He said the school’s reputation is not more important than its students.
“When you hear something like this, it cuts straight to the heart,” he said. “We’re all affected by challenges to mental health.”
Toronto police were called to the university on Sunday at 8:40 p.m. Police said officers on the scene did not deem the death to be suspicious in nature and don’t believe criminality was involved. The death occurred at the Bahen Centre for Information Technology, located on St. George Street.
The next morning, the university said: “Members of our community may have been affected by the recent incident at the Bahen Centre. At this time, we wish to respect the privacy of the individual involved and acknowledge the profound effect on family, friends and colleagues.”
Gertler said the university was made aware of the “incident” that same night.
“We obviously want to express our deep sympathy and condolences to the family involved and also to the students who knew this particular individual and other members of our community who have been deeply affected and indeed devastated by this news,” he said.
Some classes at the Bahen Centre, which is used for IT professionals in electrical and computer engineering, computer science and IT research, were relocated on Monday following the death.
If you or someone you know is in distress, please reach out for support. The Health & Wellness Centre is available Mon – Fri at 416-978-8030 or <a href=”https://t.co/xCicCLPPch”>https://t.co/xCicCLPPch</a>. To talk to a counsellor at any time, please call Good2Talk’s 24/7 helpline at 1-866-925-5454. <a href=”https://t.co/rA01WnJb7b”>pic.twitter.com/rA01WnJb7b</a>
Canada Suicide Prevention Service
In French: Association québécoise de prévention du suicide: 1-866-APPELLE (1-866-277-3553)
Kids Help Phone:
Text: TALK to 686868 (English) or TEXTO to 686868 (French)
Live Chat counselling at www.kidshelpphone.ca
Post-Secondary Student Helpline:
Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention: Find a 24-hour crisis centre
If you’re worried someone you know may be at risk of suicide, you should talk to them, says the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention. Here are some warning signs:
Read more here: CBC | Health Newshappy wheels
Apr 24, 2019 0Another Coachella has come and gone, but on Monday (April 22), a pressing point of conversation is still Kanye West’s elaborate Sunday Service musical spectacle, which he riddled with guest appearances by Kid Cudi, Chance the Rapper, Ty Dolla $ ign, Mike Dean and DMX. What caught the ears of many...
Apr 24, 2019 0
Apr 25, 2019 05 hours ago Hey, you guuuys! It’s really been almost 35 years since classic adventure film The Goonies was released, and while we’ve heard talk of a sequel through the years, there hasn’t been a whole lot of action about Goonies 2 actually being underway. Now the film’s Mikey, Sean Astin is...
Apr 20, 2019 0The Collagen Creamer Kylie Jenner Drinks for Glowing Skin...
Apr 20, 2019 0Using a Lash Primer Makes My Eyelashes Look Longer and...
Apr 19, 2019 0The Internet Is Going Wild for Benefits’s New Mascara...
Apr 24, 2019 0DUBLIN — Amid widespread condemnation and anger at the...
Apr 24, 2019 0CAIRO — The lone protester stood in an affluent corner of...
Apr 24, 2019 0NEGOMBO, Sri Lanka — The coffins came one by one, some...
Apr 24, 2019 0ImageProtesters in Khartoum last week listened as activists...
Apr 24, 2019 0• The Islamic State claimed responsibility on Tuesday for...
Apr 23, 2019 0On Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka, coordinated bombings...
Apr 23, 2019 0Here are images from the devastation of the Sunday attacks...
Apr 23, 2019 0JAKARTA, Indonesia — The deadly attacks in Sri Lanka on...