BYU student critically injured after fall in Tanner Building

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A BYU student was critically injured when she fell from the Tanner Building atrium on Monday, Dec. 3.

The university confirmed later in the day the incident was an attempted suicide.

BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said the tragic incident happened around 9 a.m. She said the student was taken to Utah Valley Hospital. About 11 a.m., the university cancelled all classes in the building and closed the building.

Academic Vice President James Rasband sent an email to faculty members shortly before 2 p.m. “I write to ask that you be understanding and sensitive to students impacted by this tragedy, particularly those who witnessed the incident,” he wrote.

The university sent out a campus-wide email at 11 a.m. informing campus of the incident, expressing the aid of campus counselors and detailing the building’s closure and class cancellations. Walk-in and crisis counselors will be available for students Tuesday, Dec. 4, and Wednesday, Dec. 5, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Counseling and Psychological Services. Students can also call campus police and ask to speak with the on-call counselor.

The National Suicide Lifeline is another resource for individuals in crisis or for those looking to help someone else. To speak with a certified listener, call 1-800-273-8255. You can also text the Crisis Text Line by texting HELLO to 741741. It is free, available 24/7 and confidential.

BYU senior Lauren Simpson was in class in the Tanner Building when the incident occurred. She said it will be difficult for her to return to that classroom for the rest of the semester. “Suddenly, we’re facing this trauma. I don’t think people know how to handle it.”

“There’s been some very positive things said on social media about reaching out to one another and listening to one another,” Jenkins said. “If you have a friend who needs someone to talk to, certainly, this is the time to lend a listening ear. And if you yourself are feeling like you need help or need someone to talk to, we encourage our students to go to the Wilkinson Student Center.”

Counseling resources are available on campus for students. BYU Counseling and Psychological Services (1500 WSC) offers walk-in services to students until 4:15 p.m. each day. After hours, BYU Counseling has a staff member on-call that can be reached by calling University Police at 801-422-2222.

Editor’s note: The Daily Universe strives to follow the ethical guidelines outlined by the Society of Professional Journalists, which includes reporting on suicides or attempted suicides only when the incident involves a public person or takes place in a public place. Our staff sends its condolences to the student, her family and friends, witnesses, fellow students, first responders, professors, mentors and university officials working to deal with an event that touches the entire BYU community.

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