UNC Chapel Hill cancels classes after student's death, report of attempted suicide

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill canceled Tuesday's classes as police investigate a student's death and another attempted suicide over the weekend, WRAL reported

Instead, the students will have a wellness day on World Mental Health Day, according to a statement from university Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz. 

"We are in the middle of a mental health crisis, both on our campus and across our nation, and we are aware that college-aged students carry an increased risk of suicide," he said. "This crisis has directly impacted members of our community  especially with the passing of two students on campus in the past month."

Campus police responded to an attempted suicide early Sunday morning. And on Saturday, another student was reported dead in a residence hall. 

Guskiewicz also put out a tweet Sunday encouraging students to use resources the university provides if they are in need of support. 

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, suicide is the leading cause of death among people age 15 to 34. Suicides have increased during the pandemic lockdowns, contributing to mental health crises worldwide. 

Clare Landis, who works for the student-led mental health resource Peer2Peer, said the service has seen an increase in calls as reported by NBC News.

"We almost have a second pandemic on our hands with mental health and suicide," Landis told WRAL.