After two student suicides occurred in the past month, Guskiewicz said that the decision to celebrate Health Day was due to the “mental health crisis”, the increase in suicide rates among college students, and with students and college leaders on weekends.
“I encourage each student to take this time off and check each other on the day. Contact friends, classmates or colleagues and ask them,’Honestly, how are you?'” Guskiewicz said in the statement.
“I think it’s a good thing that they recognize what is happening,” a student told CNN affiliate WTVD, acknowledging the recent student suicides. Another student told WTVD that she had spoken to many people who said they had gone through the stage of suicide.
Guskiewicz said that the university is integrating various resources to provide students who need information, contact, or handling experience within a week. The university also plans to hold a mental health summit later this month and launch a school-wide mental health awareness campaign.
Gregory Lemos and Alex Medeiros of CNN contributed to this story.