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This is the first blog post in a two-part series on college mental health in the United States. The focus of this first post is college student suicide.
When I look back at college, I can say with utter certainty that “these were among the best days of my life.”
I was “independent” and “free” (both words I enjoyed using) and I considered myself unfettered by parental monitoring.
I forged new relationships.
I stayed out late.
I had meaningful and existentially provocative conversations with classmates.
I fell in love.
What’s not to like?
Ironically, it turns out that these very features of college – the unfettered independence and developmental exploration that I relished – can make college great for some young people, and at the same time can make college absolutely miserable for others.
When I was in college, there wasn’t much room for the miserable part. Universities acted like the emotional hardships of being away from home were unusual and rare and administrations largely ignored these issues.
Today, things have definitely changed.
Colleges acknowledge that students experience profound emotional struggles, but colleges have remained largely ill-equipped to help these students.
Let’s look at the good, the bad and the ugly of the college mental health universe.
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