U of T to erect temporary safety barriers following rise in campus suicides

Sep 30 2019, 7:22 am

Editor’s note: This article mentions and discusses suicide.

The University of Toronto is working to install temporary safety barriers at its St. George campus following a death by suicide on Friday.

Earlier this year, on March 18, students at Toronto’s largest university gathered at King’s College Circle to silently protest the school’s “inaction” after three deaths by suicide on campus at the time.

This marks the fourth student death this year.

“We are saddened to report that a U of T student has died on the St. George campus tonight,” said the school on Friday. “We mourn the loss of our student, and we are here to support our community.”

The Bahen Centre for Information Technology was closed following the death, and reopened on Sunday.

“We are taking immediate steps to improve safety at the Bahen Centre and we will continue to work on permanent changes,” said Sandy Welsh, vice-provost, students at the University of Toronto.

“The safety and well-being of our students are our top priorities. We’ve listened to concerns about the building and are putting in place measures that will improve safety.”

The school said it had been working with the building’s architects since last spring to design permanent changes that will enhance safety in Bahen.

And on Sunday, the university reported that construction began to put temporary barriers in place, with installation of long-term changes expected to get underway later this fall.

“We mourn the loss of our student, and we are here to support our community,” Welsh said. “Our thoughts are with the student’s family, friends, fellow students and instructors.”

Counsellors and chaplains will continue to be available for students at the Health and Wellness Centre in the Koffler Student Services Centre.

If you or anyone you know is in distress, you can speak to:

The following are some of the services available to students on all three campuses: