Content Warnings: Mention of death, loss and drug use.
We have been absolutely devastated by the news that four young people in Newcastle and its surrounding areas have lost their lives over the weekend. We understand that two of these young people are part of the Newcastle University community, and we are distraught to hear of the loss of these students. All of these deaths are a tragic loss of life. From everyone at NUSU, we have the friends, family and flatmates of the young people in our thoughts and want to express our deepest sympathies. Any loss of life is a horrific event, and to lose four young people in our city and community, in this short space of time, is especially heartbreaking.
We want to share the urgent drugs warning released by Northumbria Police last night to make students aware of some of the details. This can be found here. We urge our students, and all young people in the area, to look out for each other.
We want to reach out and offer our support. We know that in these current circumstances a reiteration of the law will not be useful or productive. We need empathy at this difficult time. We recognise that all of our students right now need welfare support and to feel as though drugs are not a taboo topic. Please do not leave your peers by themselves. If your peer is in a state whereby they cannot look after themselves or are unconscious, you MUST call an ambulance. If you are going to take something then you must tell someone what you have taken, how much and you must stay with at least one person. You can contact the Student Advice Centre for confidential advice and for support at any time. Anything said in an SAC appointment will not go any further unless there is an immediate risk to you or to someone else.
Students can also access support from the University through the Student Wellbeing team who offer various resources and counselling. They can be accessed at here. The Wellbeing service also has a hotline. If you have any questions about how Wellbeing can help a potential or current student or have any concerns about a student’s well-being, call them at 0191 208 3333. You may wish to access specific drug and alcohol advice from external organisations such as Talk To Frank (View Website or call 0300 123 6600). They have specific advice on emergency situations which may be useful for students to familiarise themselves with which can be found here.
This news is shocking and upsetting. We know that there will be students affected by these tragic deaths. This is a completely normal reaction regardless of any connection to these deaths. We all need time and support in order to process. Our support services are always available for you to use - please use these if you need them. They exist to support students and everyone is entitled to access them. NUSU are here to support you however we can.
Please reach out, look after yourselves and each other. Take care and stay safe.