Second-year UW student passes away by suicide

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The University of Waterloo announced yesterday that a student unexpectedly passed away on April 2, 2019.

The second-year applied health sciences student died by suicide on campus.

The family of the student asked that the university refrain from releasing the individual’s name; however, the family shared a message that was written by the student.

The message was apparently written earlier this year about the student’s experiences with mental health. The University of Waterloo shared the note on their website:

“Let’s talk about mental illness. Let’s talk about how debilitating it can be. Let’s talk about fear and worry. Let’s talk about sadness and hopelessness. Let’s talk about sleepless nights and restless days. Let’s talk about tears and pain. Let’s talk,” the message read.

“For a long time, I have struggled with anxiety and depression. Last year was definitely a pretty low one for me. I felt trapped in my mind, not feeling like anyone would be able to help me. I kept quiet, and it almost cost me my life. I can proudly say that I’ve been improving. I’ve been working on opening up and letting people in, which is hard and terrifying, but necessary. Don’t get me wrong, I still struggle a lot. Anxiety and depression will be things that I will always carry with me, and I feel the effects of every day. But I am not alone, and I can get through anything.”

“Being brave, being honest, and being kind are so important to me. It takes bravery to be vulnerable to others when asking for help. And I’ve learned that sometimes I need to be my own superhero to be brave enough to fight my battles. I’ve also learned that some battles don’t need to be fought alone, and I have to be honest enough to both myself and others to say when I need help. Most importantly, it is necessary to be kind. Be kind to yourself and to everyone around you. You never know who may be struggling, or what others might be dealing with. A little kindness goes a long way.”

“I am so thankful and so lucky to have some absolutely amazing friends and people in my life who demonstrate constant kindness. Mental illness told me that no one cared, but these people told me different. I hope that everyone can have a support system to rely on because, without mine, I don’t know where I’d be.”

“#BellLetsTalk. Let’s talk about progress. Let’s talk about healing. Let’s talk about strength and resilience. Let’s talk about bright futures and sunny days. Let’s talk.”

The University of Waterloo employed a task force last year to provide suggestions and recommendations pertaining to mental health services on campus after it was reported that several students had died by suicide — many of them taking place near exam periods.

CTV Kitchener reported that the task force gave UW 36 recommendations.

“About 72 per cent of these recommendations have been implemented or begun to, but more work is left to be done,” CTV Kitchener reported earlier today.

Students looking for support are encouraged to reach out to services on campus, such as the Laurier Student Wellness Centre, the Delton Glebe Counselling Centre and more.

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