Earlier this week, I – alongside all RMIT students – was shocked and saddened to learn about the death of a member of our community, which happened on the RMIT City Campus.

I was also incredibly shocked about hearing of a different incident on the same campus today. Thankfully this student received immediate treatment from emergency services.

News like this can be really difficult, and many of us are experiencing shock, grief and sadness right now. Some members of the community are unsure how to place their feelings and emotions. Some of us don’t quite know what to do, but as a community I know we are hurting.

This is a time when we all need to look out for one another, take care of ourselves and come together as a community. Please make sure you check in with your fellow students. It’s OK to ask if someone’s OK - and on that note, it’s absolutely OK to not be OK. It’s really important to be able to talk about this and seek support when you need it - and I know it can be really hard, but it's worth it.

Support is available to you if you need it

If the sad events of this week are bringing up anything for you, I really want to encourage you to touch base with RMIT’s friendly counselling or chaplaincy teams or drop in to RUSU Compass to pop in, hang out and get some support.

RMIT has also organised additional counselling support which is available in Building 80 on level 7. Student counsellors are also available in Building 8, level 4 at the City Campus.

If you are finding yourself unable to focus in class, struggling to finish assessments or anything related to your studies and this event, these people can help you – and they have the training and expertise to do it well. I would also suggest talking openly to your teachers if you are having a hard time.

In addition, RUSU is opening our Compass service in Building 12 on Friday 9 August in the event that any students would like to drop in and have a chat - we’re here to support you with no judgement.

These are all free, confidential services and they’re here to help you.

Where to go for help

To have a chat with someone or book an appointment, you can ring the following numbers:

  • Student Crisis Line (after hours): 1300 305 737, 0488 884 162 (text)
  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • RMIT Connect (for non-urgent counselling appointments): 9925 5000
  • RMIT Chaplaincy (for non-urgent multi-faith chaplaincy inquiries): 9925 2317
  • RUSU Compass (for drop-in visits with a social worker and Youth Mental Health Trained Peer Support volunteer)
    • City: RMIT Building 12, Level 4, Monday to Thursday, 10:00am – 4:00pm
    • Brunswick: RMIT Building 514, Level 1, Room 7, Monday & Tuesday, 10:00am – 4:00pm
    • Bundoora West: RUSU Front Counter, RMIT Building 202, Level 2, Wednesday & Thursday, 10:00am – 4:00pm

RMIT is a Community

As a community, we need to be mindful to respect the family and their wishes. We also need to be careful about spreading rumours that could be harmful for those involved in either incident.

For people who would like to show their solidarity, a flower memorial has been organised on Stewart Street, near Building 80. If you’d like to place a flower or a note at the memorial, I would encourage you to do so. This can be a way for us to show that, as a community, we are coming together to care for each other, respect the student and remember.

We are listening to you. We hear you. We are working with RMIT on where we go as a community from here.

Please make sure you take time for your own self-care, whether that’s going for a walk or a run, doing something creative, cuddling a dog-friend or cat-friend, curling up with your favourite book or connecting with others for support.

Sending strength and support to absolutely anyone impacted by these events.

Take care,

Ella Gvildys

RUSU President 2019

 

If any of this statement has affected you at all please reach out to and talk with someone who can help you. RUSU runs a confidential drop-in service, Compass. You can go in for advice and referral with no appointment necessary. RMIT also has Safer Communities and the Counselling service which can be contacted at any time.