IPFW Sees Spike In Student Suicides (VIDEO)

By Stephanie Parkinson - 21Alive

October 28, 2013 Updated Oct 29, 2013 at 10:09 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) - The IPFW campus community has seen a spike in the number of students committing suicide.

Since the start of the fall semester, three IPFW students have committed suicide. None of them happened on campus, but that's still alarming because George McClellan, vice chancellor for student affairs, says, in his seven years with the institution, he's seen an average of only one student suicide per year.

"I was shocked but at the same time I can, being here for a very long time, I can understand as a freshman there's a lot of pressure," said Que Mbenge, graduate student, IPFW.

Eric Norman is the dean of students at IPFW. He agrees this is out of the ordinary for their student body. He says suicide is something IPFW takes very seriously, and works to prevent.

Norman says they organize several outreach events to educate the students and staff on how to recognize the signs someone, who is having suicidal thoughts, might exhibit.

"If you're a faculty member and your receiving a paper that starts describing some behavior that just does not seem typical, that could be a warning sign," said Eric Norman, Dean of Students, IPFW.

Norman is ramping up outreach efforts with new posters, magnets and even stickers to place on phones throughout campus. This material offers information for direct help. It gives contact information for resources to help someone who is suffering with depression or suicidal thoughts.




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