WVU issues community advisory in light of worrying letter | WVU today

Trigger Warning: this message contains suicide content.

(Editor’s Note: Sherry St. Clair University Police Chief and Center Director Carruth T. Anne Hawkins will be available for media interviews by phone, Zoom or in person at the UPD office. 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. today – Sunday, December 5. All inquiries should be sent to Director General of Communications April Kaull at [email protected] to facilitate coordination.)

The University of West Virginia received an anonymous letter describing suicide-related content taking place in public spaces on campus. In light of recent safety concerns at local and national schools, the University is issuing a Community Notice to inform the Morgantown campus community.

While there is no specific threat to any person or group, the letter says Monday at noon and includes both an outdoor location and an indoor location, the Mountainlair.

The safety of our community on campus is our top priority. The University takes this issue very seriously and has consulted with regional and federal public safety officials, as well as mental health experts. Therefore, the University takes the following actions:

First and foremost, for the person who wrote the letter, the University cares about you and has resources available to help you. While we don’t know your personal situation, we do know that it is a very stressful time of year and can get overwhelming. You’re not alone. Several local and national resources are available. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255 or you can call the Carruth Center at 304-293-4431 so that we can help you during this difficult time.

At our campus community, if you know of anyone who has thoughts of self-harming and who could share their thoughts through letter writing, poetry, or picture writing, please call 911 immediately.

The University has tightened security measures on campus. However, if you see anything suspicious, call 911. You should also know how to protect yourself and others in an emergency. Regardless of the location, spectator awareness and swift action are essential in crisis situations.

Please review the safety information available at safety.wvu.edu and what to do in various situations, such as a suicide emergency. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

• To be fowarding something. Pay attention to your surroundings.

• Unplug headphones and earphones when walking outdoors and in public areas. Hold your head up high and be aware.

• If you see something suspicious, say something. Call 911 or send a message to the University through the LiveSafe app.

• If you are concerned for your personal safety or the safety of others, call 911.

• If you are not registered for WVU Alert, you can do so to receive urgent messages from the University.

• Follow WVU’s Facebook page on Safety and Welfare and @ WVUsecurity on Twitter.

• You can also get University updates from the Emergency During Emergencies website (https://emergency.wvu.edu/).

Additionally, mentalhealth.wvu.edu shares various resources and information if you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues. In addition to the Carruth Center, students can access free, confidential assistance via the Crisis Text Line by calling 304-293-4431 and selecting option 1 or by texting “WVU” to 741741. There is a online therapy service called Talkspace which provides a secure and free counseling platform. If you need help, talk to someone.

The University continues to monitor the situation and will provide updates as necessary.

A community notice is part of WVU three-tier emergency notification system used to improve student and employee safety and provide useful information to the community.


UR / 12/05/21

CONTACT: April Kaull
Executive Director of Communications
University relations
304-293-3990; [email protected]

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