Wits suicide highlights need for student mental health support on and off campus

A Witwatersrand student jumped to her death from a building in Braamfontein on Saturday night.

The police have confirmed that the 20-year-old died after jumping from the sixth floor of her residence.

The Students' Representative Council (SRC) at Wits University is calling for a review of support services available to students both on and off campus.

SRC Secretary General Kamil Ali tells The Midday Report stand-in host, Ray White that the services offered at Wits come through an institution called Counselling and Careers Development Unit (CCDU) and is the driving force of mental health care on campus. Ali says the same can't be said for off-campus students.

Internal residences tend to have better support structures and access to individuals for support.

Kamil Ali, Secretary General, WITS SRC

Wits spokesperson Shirona Patel says they are noticing more students come forward with mental health issues. Patel goes on to say the numbers are larger this year than in previous years.

She adds that the university has now established a referral system, where students are assessed and advised accordingly to various institutions and NGO's where they can be further assisted.

We train lecturers as well as residence coordinators to look out for signs for students who are at risk. Sometimes students are reluctant to come forward.

Shirona Patel, Wits Spokenperson

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