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VUW disappointed by irresponsible and inaccurate media coverage

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Media coverage regarding a student who attempted suicide while living in a Victoria University of Wellington hall of residence is inaccurate, misleading and irresponsible says the University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford.

Professor Guilford says the student was not ‘evicted’ from the hall following her suicide attempt as has been stated by media outlets.

In addition, he says, coverage has suggested little or nothing was done by the University to support the student which is utterly wrong.

"We cannot discuss individual cases in the media," says Professor Guilford.

"However, our general response following a suicide attempt is to develop an individual care plan for the student. For most students the best place for their recovery is in a supportive family environment.

"As stated to media yesterday, in the case in question our staff met with the student and one of the parents to discuss the best plan for their health, safety and recovery."

Professor Guilford says the University was given just a few hours by Radio New Zealand to respond to questions about the story. The University later asked for more time to gather facts on an event that occurred in 2017 before a spokesperson was interviewed, but this was ignored.

"We also object to the secret recording of our staff," says Professor Guilford. "The way this story has been handled is deeply unprofessional and unbecoming for a media outlet such as Radio New Zealand."

Professor Guilford says the University is also disappointed to hear mental health professionals offering opinions when they have no knowledge of the individual case and have not contacted the University to find out what happened.

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