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UW-L refocusing on mental health after passing of student

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The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse is focusing more on mental health, after loss of a student.

In an email sent Monday afternoon, UW-L Dean of Students Kara L. Ostlund noted the passing of a student by suicide.

In light of that, Ostlund wrote, “His guardians wish to raise awareness of mental health and mental health resources on our campus.”

This is the second such tragedy that’s befallen UW-L in the past six months, prompting students to call for more mental health awareness on campus, especially in the midst of a pandemic.

UW-L has cancelled classes Monday, as part of its Extended Wellness Weekend, Oct. 16-18. Also, no assignments are due during this time.

Ostlund shared multiple resources on and off campus for students who may want to seek help for emotional or mental health. A few of the off-campus resources included:

“The university community may be experiencing feelings of sadness, confusion, anger, and even fear,” Ostlund said. “All are common grief responses.”

UW-L is encouraging the campus community to take part in various events throughout the Extended Wellness Weekend.

These events include movie nights, interacting with service dogs, a multi-campus volunteering event, a mushroom-nature walk, concerts and theatre programs, as well as two workshop presentations Monday.

“Like many of you, I consider our campus community to be one large family,” Ostlund concluded in the email. “That makes days like today all the more heartbreaking, but it also provides a supportive environment where we can grieve and heal together. … We will continue to process our shared grief in the coming days and weeks.”

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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