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Ohio State Holds Workshop To Prevent Suicide Among International Students

Ohio State University

Experts say that suicide rates are higher among international students. The situation prompted The Ohio State University's Office of International Students to hold a mental health workshop on campus Wednesday.

“It’s really designed to help faculty and staff know how to work with students when they’ve perceived that they might be struggling with stress in their personal life or cultural adjustment or that kind of thing,” says Caroline Omolesky, who works in the Office of International Affairs.

International students may be more reluctant to report mental health issues because of cultural differences.

Counselors recommend that faculty, staff and students know when suicide risks increase, like when a student experiences prejudice, language barriers and homesickness.

"Certainly a student who’s struggling academically, very often there’s something going on in their personal life," Omolesky says. "So anyone who has had a really poor semester of bad grades maybe after having previously done really well, there’s probably something going on with them."

Counselors also want students to know what steps to take to help someone, and say that counseling services are available for international students.

Debbie Holmes has worked at WOSU News since 2009. She has hosted All Things Considered, since May 2021. Prior to that she was the host of Morning Edition and a reporter.