Porter at Leicester Uni prevents suicide after finding student’s suicide note

The note was found in halls

A porter working at Leicester Uni prevented a suicide after finding a student’s suicide note.

The Times reported that the porter, whose identity has remained anonymous, found the note in halls.

Staff at the university, including cleaners and chefs, have been trained to spot warning signs in students which could lead to suicide.

The porter stated: “The training has enabled me to make a real difference to the welfare of our students and to add to my skills. It’s made our halls a happier and healthier place.”

Staff that work in halls of residence are often on the front lines when dealing with mental health issues, claimed Michael MacBean, head of counselling at The University of Leicester.

MacBean added: “A cleaner may spot something and think, ‘Oh, this is unusual’. Now they know what to look out for, what to do with the information and who they should take any concerns to. It acts as a reporting strategy and gives them a baseline understanding of mental health difficulties.”

According to new statistics from HESA, an average of 95 university students died by suicide last academic year, higher than that of previous years.

The university commented: “The University regards the wellbeing of its students and staff to be of the highest importance and we have provided training for staff who have ‘front-line’ roles in interfacing with students.

“We initiated a new initiative in residential services where staff who do not regularly come into contact with students in their everyday work were also trained and supported in escalating concerns. The porter in question was part of this initiative and we applaud his efforts.

“It is very pleasing that our initiative has been recently recognised with the first ever Residence Life Award at the annual CUBO awards. This new award recognises the growing importance of residence life and activities designed to support students living away from home.”

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University of Leicester