ST. LOUIS — The Saint Louis University campus is in mourning after two students died by suicide within the past two weeks.
“Nobody needs to go through mental illness alone,” said Shannon Honquest. “To know that students are feeling that alone on campus hurts my heart more than I can comprehend.”
Shannon Honquest, a junior at Saint Louis University, has been through her own struggles during her time at the university.
“I tried to get help through the University Counseling Center and my experience was subpar,” said Honquest.
That’s why Honquest started an online petition calling on the university to add more counselors, provide one free counseling session per week, and extend counseling hours.
“Students have already taken this will full force and they have been telling their own stories and what they have been going through before and after the past two weeks,” said Honquest.
In less than a week that petition has gathered more than 7300 signatures and drawn the attention of university administrators.
“Our students are hurting,” said Jeff Fowler, VP of Marketing and Communications. “I went in yesterday and read a number of the comments that were left in the petition and they’re heart-wrenching.”
As they work to meet the changes outlined the University is waiving the $15 fee on all telehealth calls.
In the meantime, they want students, and their parents, to know one thing.
“We’re here,” said Fowler. “We will be here morning and night and do what ever it takes to get our students what they need as they try to get through this tremendous grief.”
“Suicide isn’t the answer right now and it never is,” said Honquest.
St. Louis University canceled classes for all undergraduate students on Friday, Sept. 24 so students can evaluate their own mental health and honor their classmates.