Tuesday, May 16, 2006

When Colleges Go On Suicide Watch

Time
Anne Giedinghagen wanted desperately to stay in school. Having struggled with depression and anorexia since the sixth grade, the rail-thin Cornell junior was meeting regularly with a therapist at the university's counseling center in Ithaca, N.Y. But late last fall, when she told her therapist about her increasingly strong urge to kill herself, Giedinghagen received an ultimatum from the school she loved so much: she had to get better or she would have to leave. So she did what any crafty 20-year-old would do. She tried to carve out a third option--feigning improvement by, as she put it, acting "as normal as I could." When she agreed to spend her winter break at a psychiatric hospital, the university stopped threatening to kick her out.

Since some rape victims can become suicidal, especially when either they or others see them as the one at fault, the way students in distress are treated is vitally important.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:15 AM   2 comments links to this post

2 Comments:

At May 19, 2006 3:59 PM, Blogger The Methotaku said...

I would hope that suicide prevention would be seen as important in its own right; it in no way diminishes the importance of support for rape victims to acknowledge that alcoholics (to use just one example) are also often suicidal.

 
At May 19, 2006 5:13 PM, Blogger Marcella Chester said...

Absolutely, suicide prevention is important in it's own right, no matter what contributing factors exist in a student's life.

Many people don't realize that rape survivors can become suicidal or have suicidal thoughts so they wouldn't realize that these policies can impact rape survivors' ability to complete their education.

A specific problem for rape survivors occurs when policies are written with the assumption that they are always dealing with chronic mental health issues.

 

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