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K-State Today

November 1, 2019

A letter from Thomas Lane, vice president for student life, dean of students

Submitted by Thomas Lane

Dear students, faculty and staff,

As we near the holiday season and finals are quickly approaching, stress levels across the university rise. For some individuals, those extra stresses build on already existing thoughts and feelings that could make life hard to handle. With that in mind, I want to address a topic that I find personally and extremely important — mental health and suicide prevention.

Sadly, suicide is the second leading cause of death for college-age students. I think everyone would agree, this is heartbreaking and we need to eliminate that statistic. For this reason, the Division of Student Life is committed to promoting emotional well-being and reducing suicide and substance abuse risk.

To help us create a healthier and safer university, we've partnered with the JED Foundation, which operates the JED Campus initiative to assess current university programs and look for way to enhance a school's mental health and suicide prevention systems, programs and policies.

The initiative is a multiyear strategic collaborative that will create positive, lasting and systemic change in K-State's community. The next step in our JED Campus process will be forming a task force consisting of faculty, staff and students to work with our JED Foundation contact in helping us move this campuswide initiative forward.

I appreciate everyone's help to support our students' emotional health, as well as their educational and professional growth. If anyone is having a difficult time right now, please reach out to me, counseling services, the Office of Student Life or a trusted friend. You are not alone. There is hope and help. The K-State family is here to support you!

With purple pride,

Thomas Lane
Vice president for student life and dean of students