Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
Nothing is more difficult for our campus than losing young lives. We feel each loss from many different perspectives — as friends and colleagues, as fathers and mothers, and as part of an Ohio State family that extends across the nation and around the world.
The recent tragic occurrences are under police investigation, and full details may not be known for some time. Nevertheless, they have prompted our community to engage in an important dialogue about mental health services and suicide prevention efforts.
As you know, I have announced a task force that includes students, faculty and staff to address this issue. I have charged the task force with making clear what we do well, what we can do better, and what, if any, national best practices may be implemented or adapted to support our community better.
Addressing the rising demand for counseling appointments continues to be a top priority. We have increased our counseling and consultation staff by one-third in the last two years — and are committed to doing even more.
Ohio State provides services designed to connect individuals with long-term, comprehensive support in the health care community. We continue to focus on programs designed to serve students prior to a potential crisis, including workshops, wellness coaching, group therapy opportunities and off-campus referrals.
As always, if you or someone you know is at immediate risk of harming yourself or someone else, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department. Please also take a moment to familiarize yourself with a number of additional suicide prevention resources along with faculty and staff assistance.
Ohio State is a close-knit, caring community. We celebrate together, mourn together and heal and move forward together. Thank you for all you do to support your fellow Buckeyes.
Michael V. Drake, MD