College is a time of intense deadlines and goal-setting. Success generally requires ambition, focus and time management. A sudden loss may interrupt this routine by adding anxiety, feelings of loss of control or guilt about continuing to attend to requirements and responsibilities. NCCU students, staff and faculty are encouraged to take time to reflect and heal in their own way when there is a loss of a fellow Eagle, family member or friend. Often when a loved one dies, friends and loved ones question how to continue to live their lives and still keep the memories of the loved one with them. Students are frequently given the message that after a certain amount of time, the grieving process should be over. However, grief is a normal human response to death, and it may come and go at varying times. For many, the loss of a colleague, friend, or family member may bring up a variety of questions and emotions that can be resolved only over time and with patience.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross identified seven typical stages of grief:
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, On Death and Dying, Macmillan, NY, 1969
In 2005, the American Psychiatric Association’s Presidential Task Force on College Student Mental Health identified the following facts:
Many psychiatric diagnoses develop during the late 20s and early 30s. Sometimes the stress of college or a distressful experience may initiate the prevalence of a psychological disorder. Only a trained mental health professional is qualified to make this determination. Counselors in the Counseling Center are available for consultation or support of students who may exhibit the following behaviors:
Every 15 minutes someone in the United States dies from suicide. Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States. Every faculty, staff and student member of the NCCU community should take suicidal threats, statements or behavior seriously.
What you can do:
A — Acknowledge the person’s feelings and take them seriously
C — Take initiative and voice your concern
T — Treatment: Get Professional help immediately
If someone you know is experiencing the above signs, seek help by contacting the National Suicide HelpLine: 1-800-273-TALK, the local police (911) or the University Police 530-6106. University counselors are available at the NCCU Counseling Center for walk-ins during normal business hours or through the University Police after hours.