University providing counselling after two students from same course take their own lives
COUNSELLING is being provided to students after two young people from the same degree course took their own lives within months.
Queen's University Belfast said it was pro-actively offering support following the two deaths, the first in October and the second at the start of February.
The two students are not thought to have been in the same academic year but were working towards the same undergraduate degree. One was from south Down while the other from north Down.
One was prominent member of a university sporting club, and formerly was a top ranked player in both Ulster and Ireland. The club said it would this year change its uniforms to purple - the official colour of Suicide Awareness.
Online tributes described him as a "first class guy in every sense of the word".
"(He) was a champion in the purest sense. Hard working disciplined and a real warrior and you could not meet a nicer guy," one read.
"He made us proud, his parents proud and you could not wish success on a more deserving person. I had the good fortune to meet up with (him) recently and could not have been happier to to hear of his life experiences. He really seemed to be enjoying university and his warm personality was just great to see."
The other student was a former top GCSE pupil in Northern Ireland, and was awarded for scoring the highest marks in the north in one exam.
He was also president of a society linked to his degree course.
The society's committee paid a warm tribute online describing the death as a tragedy and their friend as "an amazing individual taken far too young".
They added that he was a "best friend to a lot of us, a star student, a role model to classmates and younger students alike, and simply one of the best people we are all lucky enough to have known.
"Those close will know that he was, and will remain, the most positive, energetic and endearing friend."
Queen's is understood to be offering assistance through trained and experienced counsellors to young people both at the university and in students' homes.