Blog 2: Suicide on Campus and the Pressure of Perfection

“Suicide on Campus” focuses mainly upon unrealistic goals and the pressure to achieve those goals by family and friends will simultaneously experiencing the dark side of rejection. I do not intend to take away from this meaning, nor to gloss over society’s problems with the final decision, but I feel that it  is necessary to look at the positive and those things that were done correctly to save Ms. DeWitt. As educators, friends and family members of others  struggling with  similar problems as Ms. DeWitt is essential to be observant, proactive, and diligent in our support of someone contemplating suicide.  As the article eluded to, in many instances there are personal actions that should trigger the concerns of others. The roommate  identified  warning signs of the pending suicide attempt. She correctly approached Ms. DeWitt, and questioned her motives Though initially convinced  of Ms. DeWitt’s denial, the roommate remained observant, and noting that the farewell letters have been pulled from the trash, did not hesitate in seeking professional assistance.  The actions of the roommate proved successful in preventing a suicide. As educators, we may be faced with a similar situation and have a moral obligation to intervene.  We also have an obligation to ourselves to seek professional counsel if we find ourselves experiencing depression or anxiety.  Seeking help should not be a stigma, but instead be viewed as a means of self-improvement.  As Jack has stated, the military has experienced a high level suicides.  The culture attached a stigma to seeking  mental health assistance. The stigma is being transformed and all members within that culture are encouraged to self-refer themselves. But to change the culture, the leadership must model the process.  Every two weeks I spend a couple hours talking to my psychiatrist as a means to facilitate my recent change in career and too much time vacationing in the Middle East.  Teachers possess the responsibility to protect their students, but also to protect themselves.

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