Editor's note: This article includes content about suicide and may be triggering to some readers
West Virginia University issued a campus-wide notice on Sunday after receiving an anonymous letter detailing public suicide on campus.
Though no direct threats were made, the University said the letter describes a public suicide occurring on Monday, Dec. 6, at noon inside or outside the Mountainlair.
“The safety of our campus community is our highest priority,” WVU said in a campus-wide email Sunday. “The University takes this issue very seriously and has consulted with regional and federal public safety officials, as well as mental health experts.”
“First and foremost, to the person who wrote the letter, the University cares about you and has resources available to help. While we do not know your personal circumstances, we do know this is a very stressful time of year and it can become overwhelming. You are not alone. There are several local and national resources available.”
The University said security across campus has been increased and recommends that students contact 911 if they see anything concerning.
Students are recommended to take the following precautions in light of the letter:
- Be alert. Pay attention to your surroundings.
- Unplug from earbuds and earphones when walking outdoors and in public areas. Keep your head up and be aware.
- If you see something suspicious, say something. Call 911 or message the University through the LiveSafe app.
- If you are concerned about your personal safety or the safety of others, call 911.
- If you are not signed up for WVU Alert, you can do so to receive urgent messages from the University.
- Follow the WVU Safety and Wellness Facebook page and @WVUsafety on Twitter.
- You also can get updates from the University at the Emergency website during emergency situations (https://emergency.wvu.edu/).
Additional campus safety instructions can be found at safety.wvu.edu.
“To our campus community, if you are aware of someone who is struggling with thoughts of self-harm and may be sharing their thoughts through letter writing, poetry or illustrations, please call 911 immediately,” the University said in the campus safety notice.
People in need of mental health resources can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255 or the Carruth Center at 304-293-4431.