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Following Parking Garage Incidents, Ohio State Announces Mental Health Task Force

Ohio Union
The Ohio State University

After two people fell from the same parking garage within four days, The Ohio State University president Michael Drake announced he's forming a task force to evaluate national best practices and provide recommendations within 60 days. 

According to a statement, the task force includes Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health interim chair Eileen Ryan and Student Life senior vice president Javaune Adams-Gaston. 

"These incidents have been shocking to our community and truly heartbreaking for the families, friends and loved ones of the victims," Drake said in a statement. "I know you join me in offering support and condolences."

Last Thursday, sophomore Daniel Birdsall died at the hospital after he either fell or jumped from the upper level of the Ohio Union South Garage. 

Then on Sunday afternoon, an unnamed former Ohio State student fell from the same garage, according to a university statement. She was transported to the hospital in critical condition. Police are investigating the incident and do not suspect foul play.

This is not the first time a student has been killed falling from the Ohio Union South Garage. In February 2017, student Madison Paul died after falling from the garage.

Ohio State is reviewing all campus parking garages in an effort to identify potential changes that could prevent future tragedies. The university is increasing police and security foot patrols over the next few days, and is offering support servicesto students as well.

Ohio State's Counseling and Consultation Service can be reached at 614-292-5766, and a crisis text line can be reached anytime at 741741. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Adora Namigadde was a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU News in February 2017. A Michigan native, she graduated from Wayne State University with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in French.