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WVU issues update on Community Notice concerning letter describing public suicide

WVU puts out a community notice in regards to a letter they received describing a public...
WVU puts out a community notice in regards to a letter they received describing a public suicide attempt.(WVU/Jennifer Shephard)
Published: Dec. 5, 2021 at 5:56 PM EST
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - STORY UPDATE: Mon., Dec. 6 at 4:27 p.m.

WVU reported Monday afternoon via a Tweet that no incident took place on campus.

WVU also released an update on the Community Notice issued following the discovery of a letter that described a possible public suicide.

The release says safety experts tell WVU that it may resume normal operations and activities on campus.

“Not just today but every day please look out for anything out of the ordinary on our campus and with others around you,” University Police Chief Sherry St. Clair said. “If you find yourself in a potentially concerning situation, call 911. By being alert and present, you are not only keeping yourself as safe as possible but keeping our community safer, as well.”

As a precaution, additional safety measures will remain across campus for the rest of the semester including at the Mountainlair, according to the release.

“We understand that for many students this is already a stressful time as the end of the semester approaches so the Carruth Center will also continue to be provided added opportunities to seek help,” Director T. Anne Hawkins said.

WVU says that the CrisisTextLine is available if texting sounds easier than speaking with someone in-person or over the phone. Just text WVU to 741741 for 24/7 free, confidential help. 

WVU also reminds students and faculty that if you have thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Veterans can call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, and the LGBTQ+ community can call 1-866-488-7386.

UPDATED STORY: Mon., Dec. 6 at 10:16 a.m.

In response to a handwritten note, WVU has announced that it will have heightened security across the Morgantown campus today, December 6, including extra police officers and security staff.

WVU has also said that entry into the Mountainlair will be limited to the main first floor front entrance facing University Ave., main second floor rear entrance the Mountainlair Green, and the garage entrances only.

No other doors at the Mountainlair will allow entry into the building.

Additionally, according to a Tweet posted by WVU, students that do not feel comfortable being on campus have permission not to go.

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to report anything suspicious to 911.

ORIGINAL STORY: Sun., Dec. 5 at 7:32 p.m.

West Virginia University issued a community notice after receiving a handwritten note that described content related to dying by suicide.

Officials say the note described that this attempt will occur on Monday at noon and mentions outdoor locations on campus and inside the Mountainlair.

Authorities don’t know who wrote the letter.

Univerisity Police Chief Sherry St. Clair told 5 News there will be more security presence on campus beginning Monday, Dec. 6 and continue throughout the rest of the semester.

Chief St. Clair also mentioned there is no specific threat to any persons or groups, but she along with the Carruth Center Director, T. Anne Hawkins, wants those on and off campus to be aware.

“We were very concerned and wanted to get this out here and we wanted to directly communicate to the writer and to individuals who may know the writer,” Hawkins said.

They’re asking anyone who may know the person who wrote the letter to come forward. Authorities are also reminding the public that there are several local and national resources available. They stated the following in a release:

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. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255 or you can call the Carruth Center at 304-293-4431 so we can help you during this difficult time.

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.

WVU Authorities

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