GLASSBORO, N.J. (CBS) — Students at Rowan University believe there is a mental health crisis after three students took their own lives. On Monday, students came together with health care workers and university leaders.
Representatives from New Jersey’s Health and Human Services Division, the Rowan Wellness Center and student government were all in attendance tonight, along with hundreds of students concerned about mental health resources and many took to the mic to make their voices heard.
“We have to be able to talk about things that make us feel so alone and scared,” one woman said.
On the campus of Rowan University, dozens did just that, as hundreds watched on.
The convergence of university officials and students provided a conversation on mental health to a campus that has been suffering.
At least three confirmed suicides and several more student deaths have taken place this semester alone, according to the university.
“The students, the parents, the facility, the staff, the administration are all on edge,” Senior Vice President of Medical Initiatives James Newell said.
On Friday, a vigil was held to honor the lives lost to suicides. There, students raised concerns over wait times to see counselors.
The university says they are now adding three more counselors on top of the 15 they currently have in their Wellness Center.
This was the first time an event of this size has taken place at Rowan on the topic of mental health and suicide.
“It’s one of those pieces that we know is really a part of a larger national problem,” Newell said.
The meeting was a space to share personal stories of suffering and working toward solutions.
“I know that we as a university have the power to come together and make a change here. That needs to be seen,” one student said.
If you are in crisis, the number to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255.