Arlana Miller, a freshman cheerleader at Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA, was found dead on May 4th after posting a heartbreaking note on social media.
The 19-year-old was an aspiring agriculture major and graduated from DeSoto High School last year, according to the Southern University press release. “Southern Athletics sends our sympathy to Arlana’s family and friends,” SU Athletics Director Roman Banks said in the statement.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, rest of our department staff and student-athletes; and the entire SU community. Jaguar Nation is a close community and we grieve together during this difficult time. Arlana’s teammates and coaches are also in mourning, and we are grateful for everyone who is helping and supporting the team.”
Miller was found unresponsive after she told her Instagram followers, “I gave this life all the fight I had.” The post circled around the internet for a few days but has since been taken down.
Miller’s death is also bringing attention to the staggering number of student-athletes that have taken their lives over the last two months. Alongside the freshman, multiple student-athletes across the country have tragically taken their life, raising concerns about NCAA athletes being treated poorly by academic and athletic administration.
As the college community continues to mourn her death, many are speaking out on the significant impact she had on her school. Head SU cheerleading coach Floyd Sias shared that Miller was a wonderful athlete with a bright future ahead of her.
“Arlana made an impact on our team in a short time,” he wrote in a statement issued by the school. “She was extremely dedicated to her sport, a tremendously hard worker, and a warm and engaging young woman. She will be missed.”
Southern University encouraged those grieving the life of Arlana Miller to utilize mental health resources
In addition, the University is offering mental health resources for students who may need additional support during this difficult time. Banks wrote to students, “The mental and physical wellbeing of our students is one of the University’s highest priorities. Therefore, our University Counseling Center (UCC) and partners are available for any students who may need support during this difficult time.”
If in crisis, University students are encouraged to reach out to 24/7 counseling services at 225-368-9602.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a resource for individuals struggling or for those looking to help someone else. The number to call is 1-800-273-8255. Those who need emotional crisis support can also text HELLO to 741741 to speak with a trained listener 24/7. It is free and confidential.
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