UPDATE: The ASU State Press has an update on the suicide incident this morning here.
This sad, breaking news from the ASU student newspaper: A graduate student committed suicide at 11:40 a.m. in the College of Design South building. The State Press is reporting via Twitter and their Website that the building is on lockdown after the student shot himself inside a professors office. Heartbreaking. Keep tuned to the State Press for further developments, but, in the meantime, think about this:
National Public Radio has been running a series of broadcasts on the increase in mental distress among today’s college students. You can view today’s broadcast here. You’ll hear how more and more of our college students are depressed, stressed and not dealing with life very well. Part of it is they seem to think they have to be perfect – not really surprising considering they are products of the most-involved (some say overinvolved) parental generation of all times.
So, if you know a college student, talk to them – and listen. These kids need to feel like they are not alone. Case in point: Yesterday, at church, I met a new kid, freshman from out of town. I talked to her about her classes, etc., and at some point I said if she got lonely, she could come over to our house for a meal. I was surprised to see her face light up so instantly (my cooking isn’t that good!) and even more surprised when she said, “They just think we can do this on our own, you know? Everyone thinks we’re ok, but sometimes we just need advice on how to handle all these changes.”
The words just blurted out of her mouth, it was like she’d just been waiting for someone – anyone – to notice that she was 18, in a new city, adjusting to hard classes and major demands and more freedom than she knew what to do with and peer pressure and professor pressure and God knows what else. It hurt to watch.
They aren’t as OK as we think they are, these young people crowding our supermarkets and our roads. We need to pay attention to that.