Unrest in the Tuindorp-West complex following suicide

The red building of the Tuindorp-West Complex. Photo: DUB

Witnessing someone commit suicide is a traumatic experience. "When you see a rescue helicopter in the air and policemen coming to set up a white tent, then you know it's too late", says student Roos as quoted by newspaper AD/Utrechts Nieuwsblad. "Some residents saw it happening. That's the kind of thing you never forget."

This is not the first time the students living in the Tuindorp-West Complex go through such an experience. In 2015, DUB published an article (in Dutch only) about how hard it is for those living there to witness people taking their own lives. That year, two people committed suicide by jumping off the building's windows, of which one used to live there.

At the time, residents already complained about the faulty intercoms and how easy it is for non-residents to enter the building. According to Roos, these problems still haven't been solved. People can easily get in by saying they're visiting a friend or delivering a package.

Once again, those living in the complex are calling for extra measures to avoid this kind of incident from happening in the future. Student housing provider SSH declares to be invested in addressing the situation, and is ready to talk about it with the housing board. The question is how they're going to do that.

After this month's incident, one of the students living in the complex called emergency number 113 to suggest suicide-prevention posters to be hung in its premises. SSH has a similar idea: distributing information brochures among the residents. Back in 2015, DUB's article also proposed to approach people whose behaviour looks odd, as that can help as well.

Following the tragic events of June 2, SSH sent an e-mail to all residents offering mental health support.

If you're contemplating suicide, have questions about it, or if you have witnessed someone committing suicide, you can call or send a message to 113 or 0800-0113. Calling this hotline is free.