ST. LOUIS – For a fourth time in the first two months of this school year, a college campus in the St. Louis region is mourning the loss of a student.
A crisis response team provided extra counselors at Lindenwood University, Thursday after a student died on campus. Students reported a police presence outside the Calvert Rogers Hall dormitory Wednesday night.
Lindenwood University President, Dr. John Porter confirmed a student had died.
“I write with a heavy heart,” he said, sharing the news of the student’s death.
The university released no further details. There was no foul play suspected, according to police.
Foul play is suspected in the death of Illinois State graduate student, Jelani Day. Not long after his disappearance, two St. Louis University students died from apparent suicides.
With these tragedies come concerns about the added burden of grief their fellow students may now be carrying.
If there’s a student you care about, it’s probably time to reach out to them, even if you don’t know what to say.
“Advice-giving comes later but listening first,” said family therapist Rebecca Dougherty, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with Dr. Lena Pearlman and Associated in Creve Coeur.
“Even if they’re not connected in some way, the experience is there on campus that people are grieving. People are talking.”
Countless studies confirm that talking and listening are powerful medicines, she said.
“I think it’s very fair to even say, ‘hey I heard this happened on campus. I’m curious on your thoughts, feelings, and connections to this. What’s it like for you?’ Maybe create an agreement: ‘when you’re ready to talk, will you give me the signal?’ ” she said.
“This is where you can pull the parent card and say, ‘that’s fine. I respect your boundaries but I’m going to keep asking you every couple of days because I’m concerned for you.’ If we leave our thoughts inside our head, they continue to get recycled, magnified and many times there’s not a resolution.”
Remember, help is just a text or phone call away.
For the Crisis Text Line, text “home” to 741741. For the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).