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Cheerleader Arlana Miller found dead campus hours after posting Instagram message was suicidal

Cheerleader Arlana Miller found dead campus hours after posting Instagram message was suicidal 2

A cheerleader who was a freshman at Southern University and A&M College in Louisiana was found dead hours after posting a shocking message on her own Instagram account. 

Arlana Miller, 19, from Texas died on Wednesday after posting a heartbreaking note on Instagram suggesting that she was planning on taking her own life.

In it, she spoke about death and detailed her history with suicidal thoughts.

‘May this day bring me rest and peace. I have fought this urge since my early teenage years… I gave this life all the fight I had. To everyone who has entered my life I’m so grateful and I can only imagine how this may find you, I have been surrounded by people who may have honestly thought that I was okay, but I havn’t been okay for a while,’ the note read.  

It also referenced her struggled over the past year with her school, Covid-19 and tearing her ACL ligament. 

‘I struggled so much through just this year alone. From covid, to tearing my acl, to nearly failing all of my classes. To the people in my life I pray you learn to vocalize your feelings and get help always!!! I failed at that and I’m afraid it’s too late,’ Miller wrote. 

‘I have written so many suicide notes my life but finally, I’ve reached my end,’ she said. 

Arlana Miller, 19, a Louisiana college student was found dead after posting a lengthy 'suicide' note on social media

Arlana Miller, 19, a Louisiana college student was found dead after posting a lengthy ‘suicide’ note on social media

Miller, 19, attended Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge

Miller, 19, attended Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge

In what was to become her final Instagram post, Miller spoke about death and detailed her history with suicidal thoughts

In what was to become her final Instagram post, Miller spoke about death and detailed her history with suicidal thoughts

Alongside the lengthy post, Miller  posted this black & white photo to her Instagram account

Alongside the lengthy post, Miller  posted this black & white photo to her Instagram account

‘I hope this teaches everyone to check on your ‘strong’ friends, be present always! I’m contradicting myself but NEVER give up!!! I know that I’m letting a lot people down by what I’m about to do. But… truth is I’ve already let down so many people throughout my life and it just feels unbearable. I’ve lost my connection to God. 

‘I’ve been dead inside for too long. To everyone I love, just remember that this is not your fault and I pray you don’t find guilt in my situation. I always dreamed of becoming so many things that I am today, but they just aren’t enough, I’m not enough. I havnt felt enough for a while.. but I say all this to say, I’m done fighting, My battle is over and I pray everyone finds peace in that.’

The university’s athletic department said she died shortly after making the final posting. 

The freshman cheerleader was found dead after posting a lengthy 'suicide' note online

The freshman cheerleader was found dead after posting a lengthy ‘suicide’ note online

I have written so many suicide notes in my life but finally, I've reached my end', she wrote

I have written so many suicide notes in my life but finally, I’ve reached my end’, she wrote

The Southern University Athletic Department announced the death of one of their own

The Southern University Athletic Department announced the death of one of their own

‘Our entire campus community is deeply saddened by the untimely death of Arlana Miller, a freshman who was majoring in agriculture on the Baton Rouge campus,’ Southern University’s President-Chancellor Ray L. Belton said in a statement Thursday. 

‘On May 4, 2022, at approximately 9PM, Southern University Athletic Department was notified of a social media post which ultimately led to this unfortunate announcement,’ the statement read.

The athletic department noted how Miller’s death came during Mental Health Awareness Month, ‘a time to raise awareness of mental or behavioral health issues and to help reduce the stigma so many experience.’

‘We ask for your prayers, love and support. Our deepest sympathy to The Miller family, SU Cheer, & friends. We love you Arlana #ForeverJag,’ athletic director Roman Banks and the school’s athletic department said in the statement.

Miller said she 'failed' to follow her own advice and thanked her mother in her final posting

Miller said she ‘failed’ to follow her own advice and thanked her mother in her final posting 

Arlana's mother, Janice Tappin-Miller, posted about her daughter's mental health challenges on Facebook

Arlana’s mother, Janice Tappin-Miller, posted about her daughter’s mental health challenges on Facebook

Sheerleader Arlana Miller is pictured in a photo from the Facebook page of her mother, Janice Tappin-Miller, right, together with other family members

Sheerleader Arlana Miller is pictured in a photo from the Facebook page of her mother, Janice Tappin-Miller, right, together with other family members

Arlana Miller is picture as a young cheerleader

Arlana Miller is picture as a young cheerleader 

Arlana Miller is pictured as a teenager having passed her driving test

Arlana Miller is pictured as a teenager having passed her driving test 

Arlana's mother was clearly extremely proud of her cheerleading daughter with her Facebook page littered with photos of her

Arlana’s mother was clearly extremely proud of her cheerleading daughter with her Facebook page littered with photos of her

Miller’s death comes as there have been a number of student-athlete suicides.

Since the start of March, three high-profile college student-athletes have taken their own lives. 

Katie Meyer, who was a star goalkeeper on Stanford’s soccer team; Sarah Shulze, a runner for the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Lauren Bernett, a softball player for James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Experts say that student athletes may face pressures on them academically, mentally and physically with huge expectations for them to perform at the highest level. 

‘Balancing athletics, academics and the demands of every day life overwhelmed her in a single, desperate moment,’ Shulze’s family said last month.

Meyer’s death at Stanford was the fourth student to die on the campus in 14 months

Students Jacob Meisel, 23, and Rose Wong who was transgender,  also died by suicide. Meisel was hit by a train on August 2, 2021.

Third-year law grad, Dylan Simmons, who was also transgender, died in his campus residence on January 20 this year.

Stanford student Jacob Meisel, 23, was hit by a train. He died in August 2021

Stanford student Jacob Meisel, 23, was hit by a train. He died in August 2021

Third-year law grad, Dylan Simmons, who was transgender and used to be known as Sarah Elizabeth, died in his campus residence on January 20

Third-year law grad, Dylan Simmons, who was transgender and used to be known as Sarah Elizabeth, died in his campus residence on January 20

‘Over the last year, the Stanford community has grieved the unimaginable loss of multiple members of our student family, and the past few weeks have been especially challenging and heartbreaking,’ the college said in a statement released on Facebook in March.

‘In addition to Katie Meyer, a Resident Assistant and Stanford Women’s Soccer captain who died by suicide on March 1, we continue to mourn the recent death of Dylan Simmons, as well as the deaths of Jacob Meisel and Rose Wong, who passed away in 2021. All were accomplished, loving students we will always remember. We extend our deepest condolences to their family and friends.’

Stanford has also been recruiting staff for additional clinical counseling and therapy positions. 

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students, according to data published by the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention in 2013. 

Approximately 1,100 suicides occur on college campuses across the U.S. each year although in the U.S., no complete count of suicide attempt data are available.

A 2015 study of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) athletes revealed that 7.3 percent of mortality among NCAA student athletes was due to suicide.

The study revealed the suicide rate among student-athletes was lower than that of the overall collegiate population, but still greatly impacted the group.

Male athletes appeared to be more at-risk for suicide than female athletes, with the study finding football players had the greatest risk. 

Universities across the country have reported seeing a significant rise in students seeking wellness and therapy services on their campuses during the course of the COVID pandemic. 

A study conducted in 2021 by the Center for Collegiate Mental Health at Pennsylvania State University found 72 percent of 43,000 students who sought help from 137 campus counseling centers last fall said the pandemic has had a negative impact on their mental health.

‘Regardless of the reason for seeking mental health care, the vast majority of students seeking mental health care reported that COVID-19 has negatively impacted at least one aspect of life,’ the study said. 

‘These will be critical aspects of the student experience for colleges and universities to focus on in the coming months. It is worth noting that 28% of students seeking mental-health services report that COVID-19 did not negatively impact their mental health.’

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones. For confidential help, call the Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or click here 

Suicides of star student-athletes

Over the last two months there have been a number of student-athlete suicides. 

Three high-profile college student-athletes have taken their own lives. 

Katie Meyer, 22, March 1

Katie Meyer, 22, a promising young sportswoman killed herself in her Stanford dorm

Katie Meyer, 22, a promising young sportswoman killed herself in her Stanford dorm

In March, Katie Meyer, a promising young sportswoman killed herself in her Stanford dorm after feeling pressure to be ‘perfect’ and ‘number one’ in the weeks leading up to her death.

Meyer was reportedly the fourth Stanford student to die by suicide in the past 14 months. 

According to her parents, Katie might have been ‘triggered’ after receiving an email, notifying her of an impending disciplinary hearing after being  involved in an unspecified incident on campus, in which she defended a teammate.

The athlete was found dead in her dorm room  with what a coroner has determined to be self-inflicted wounds, just days after complaining of knee pain from a February  surgery. 

Meyer, a senior majoring in international relations and minoring in history at the school, also posted photos of her using crutches following the surgery, as she went to get a coffee and played with Star Wars Legos.

Things seemed to be going well after that, as she shared photos from practices and spoke about how she was getting coffee with friends before going to a sorority dinner.

But four days later, Meyer was found dead in her dorm room. 

Meyer's was the goalkeeper for the Stanford women's soccer team

Meyer’s was the goalkeeper for the Stanford women’s soccer team

Meyer, of Newbury Park, California , earned national fame in 2019 after she made two critical saves to help the Cardinals win its third NCAA championship (pictured: playing for Stanford)

Meyer, of Newbury Park, California , earned national fame in 2019 after she made two critical saves to help the Cardinals win its third NCAA championship (pictured: playing for Stanford)

 Sarah Shulze, 21, died April 13

The California native took her own life after a battle with mental health issues. Her family said 'balancing athletics, academics and the demands of everyday life overwhelmed her in a single, desperate moment'

The California native took her own life after a battle with mental health issues. Her family said ‘balancing athletics, academics and the demands of everyday life overwhelmed her in a single, desperate moment’

In April, Sarah Shulze, a runner, took her own life after a battle with mental health issues.

Shulze, of California, passed away ‘suddenly and tragically’ on April 13 in Wisconsin surrounded by her loved ones, according to a statement from her family. 

‘Sarah took her own life,’ the family said two days after her passing. ‘Balancing athletics, academics and the demands of everyday life overwhelmed her in a single, desperate moment. Like you, we are shocked and grief stricken while holding on tightly to all that Sarah was.’ 

‘Sarah regarded herself as a champion for all women, as did the many family members, friends, students and athletes who surrounded her,’ the Shulzes added. 

The 21-year-old’s ‘legacy of compassion’ lives on in those who were recipients of her organs, which the family donated on Good Friday. Her relatives also plan to launch a foundation ‘that will be established to continue to support the causes most important to Sarah.’ 

Shulze’s parents say they hope her suicide helps others to better understand the fragility of mental health.

The star runner, originally from Oak Park, California, was a junior at Wisconsin. Her devotion to her sport, which the family says began on her high school track and cross-country teams, resulted in an athletic scholarship at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Shulze was in her third season with the Badgers, competing in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track. She earned academic all-Big Ten honors in 2020 and 2021 for cross country and in 2021 for track.

Star University of Wisconsin student-athlete Sarah Shulze, 21, passed away 'suddenly and tragically' on April 13 surrounded by her loved ones

Star University of Wisconsin student-athlete Sarah Shulze, 21, passed away ‘suddenly and tragically’ on April 13 surrounded by her loved ones

Shulze was in her third season with the Badgers, competing in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track. She earned academic all-Big Ten honors in 2020 and 2021 for cross country and in 2021 for track

Shulze was in her third season with the Badgers, competing in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track. She earned academic all-Big Ten honors in 2020 and 2021 for cross country and in 2021 for track

 Lauren Bernett, 20, died April 26

Bernett played as a catcher on the team (pictured) and was named the softball Player of the Week in the Colonial Athletic Conference just last week

Bernett played as a catcher on the team (pictured) and was named the softball Player of the Week in the Colonial Athletic Conference just last week

A standout James Madison University softball player, who was part of the school’s historical run last year in the NCAA Division 1 tournament, died at the age of 20 on April 26 by an apparent suicide, authorities said.

Lauren Bernett, of Pennsylvania, was a sophomore catcher with the third-highest home runs and second highest RBIs on the team. Her death was classified as a suicide, the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office said.

The news came just a day after Bernett was named the softball Player of the Week in the Colonial Athletic Conference.

Bernett was named the CAA Player of the Week after batting .788 (7-for-9) with seven RBIs and four runs during a three-game weekend sweep of Drexel. On April 16, she tied a single-game JMU record with seven RBIs in a game against College of Charleston.

During the Women’s College World Series in 2021, she helped the Dukes advance to the Women’s College World Series for the first time. They made headlines there with a 4-3 win against No. 1-ranked Oklahoma in their opening game.

Officials from the local sheriff’s office said that the student-athlete’s death is not being treated as a crime. 

Student-athlete Lauren Bernett, 20, died last month, according to a statement from James Madison University. Bernett was a sophomore on the school's softball team

Student-athlete Lauren Bernett, 20, died last month, according to a statement from James Madison University. Bernett was a sophomore on the school’s softball team

The local sheriff's office near the college in Harrisonburg, Virginia, said the student-athlete's death is not being treated as a crime. Pictured: Bernett in a JMU uniform

The local sheriff’s office near the college in Harrisonburg, Virginia, said the student-athlete’s death is not being treated as a crime. Pictured: Bernett in a JMU uniform

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