Learn of counseling resources on campus, be companions to fellow students who need it

Wichita State was stricken with an emotional tone after a student was found unresponsive in a Shocker Hall dorm room last week. It was later determined by a preliminary coroner’s report that she died by suicide.

The university sent an email alert Tuesday offering condolences to friends and family.

“During this time of great loss, we are reminded of the importance of community,” Vice President of Student Affairs Eric Sexton stated in the alert. “Losing a fellow student and member of our university can be very difficult.”

Students were reminded of the power of a strong Shocker Nation.

Classmates took to Yik Yak — the anonymous social media feed popular on college campuses — to express their sympathies.

One user posted: “Remember, as shockers (sic), we are all family. And family is always there for each other. I think we all learned how valuable that is. Let’s come together and take care of one another.”

Another replied: “Ohona, (sic)” meaning “family,” a reference to the Disney film “Lilo and Stich.”

Suicide conjures up a wide range of reactions. While some claim the act is selfish, others blame society for its disregard for those impacted by mental health. No matter an individuals’ take on suicide, what we know is that a person took their life because they could no longer deal with a painful reality.

It is The Sunflower’s opinion that regardless of your stance on the matter, WSU students should feel a sense of community in times of trouble. We celebrate together, like when the men’s basketball team defeats the University of Kansas, and we mourn together, like when a student takes her life.

The Sunflower would like to remind students of the resources available to them on and off campus. Getting help may seem taboo, but it’s necessary. If a reader is considering self-harm, remember the reaction of your campus to what happened last week.

Even if you don’t feel like you have a friend, we all bleed the same black and yellow blood. There are companions around every corner, even if they are hard to find.

The Sunflower also urges readers to be that companion. Let’s rid society of the stigma that those who commit suicide are weak. It starts with all of us.

Please consider the resources listed above if you need guidance.

On-Campus Resources

Counseling and Testing Center: 

320 Grace Wilkie Hall

Student Health Services:

209 Ahlberg Hall

University Police Department:

Located south of Wilkins Stadium

Shocker Safe Ride:

Available on and off campus

Campus Ministries:

204 Rhatigan Student Center

Office of Diversity and Inclusion:

208 Rhatigan Student Center

Student Government Association:

219 Rhatigan Student Center

WSU Psychology Clinic:

412 Jabara Hall