A Duquesne University is holding a private memorial for a student who reportedly jumped out of the 16th floor of a private residence hall on the campus on Oct. 4.
The Oct. 7 memorial service was held at 6 p.m. in the Union Ballroom.
At around 10:30 p.m. on Oct. 4, someone had called campus security about a disturbance, said Ken Gormley, President of the University.
By the time the campus police arrived, they saw that Marquis Brown Jr. had jumped out the window of his dorm in Brottier Hall.
The 26-year-old junior from Washington D.C. was taken to Mercy Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Authorities haven’t said anything about what may have caused Brown to jump, but they don’t suspect foul play, ABC reported.
The Pennsylvania University said that their leadership team, staff, counselors, priest, and Campus Ministry helped students deal with the tragic incident throughout the night.
Some student gathered at the campus Chapel and prayed together in a group.
On Oct. 6, the Duquesne Dukes, a division 1 university hockey team, had a moment of silence for the tragic loss.
— Duquesne Hockey (@DuqHockey) October 7, 2018
High School ‘Family’ Mourns With Duquesne Community
Brown’s former high school, DeMatha Catholic High School, mourned with the Duquesne community on social media.
His former high school football coach tweeted a photo of him in high school, and sending his condolences to the family.
— Elijah Brooks (@DMCoachBrooks) October 5, 2018
Another friend tweeted their condolences a month after meeting him for the first time.
“We just spoke last month and I’m crushed. Great guy and a great friend. JB you’ll be missed by so many but you’re watching over us now. Much love,” he said.
Traumatic Brain Injury and Suicide
The reasons for Brown’s suicide will never be known, but a Sports Illustrated interview with the CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation says there is evidence that brain damage may make players more susceptible to suicide.
CEO Chris Nowinski said that after examining the brains of many college football players, nearly all had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CTE is a brain disease that affects thinking, sight, balance, communication, and emotions. It is the result of repeated concussions or impacts to the head.
Although Nowinski has seen CTE in college football players after a few seasons, he has also seen them in teenagers at the age of 17. The youngest he has seen is at 14.
After playing at least seven years of football, hockey, and baseball, Nowinski ‘s 14-year-old patient had post-concussion syndrome in eighth grade. Despite only having stage 1 CTE, the boy never recovered and eventually committed suicide at the age of 20.
The main question that the Nowinski believes needs to be discussed and answered, is whether there is a relationship between CTE and suicide.
According to many studies, one concussion can increase the risk of suicide somewhere between three to four times, Nowinski said.
He said that after research and investigation, stage 1 CTE involves damage to the frontal cortex. The study he referenced found lesions in the areas of the brain that are responsible for the regulation of anxiety and depression.
But another study from Psychiatry Online said that the issue is more complex than that.
Suicide attempts, thoughts, and completed suicides are multi-factored and it is therefore difficult to determine the cause of the suicide. Possible causes can include physical and mental health issues, genetics, negative childhood experiences, and stresses from different areas of life.
According to the study, it is only in recent times that they’ve taken these cases and only emphasized on the CTE aspect and its relation to depression and suicide.
If you or someone you know is showing signs that they might be suicide, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 800-273-TALK. You can also text the Crisis Text Line at 741741.