Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

DawnM

(warning, Triggers) Suicide rates and college students

Recommended Posts

https://www.verywellmind.com/college-and-teen-suicide-statistics-3570768

"According to the American College Health Association (ACHA) the suicide rate among young adults, ages 15-24, has tripled since the 1950s and suicide is currently the second most common cause of death among college students."

My oldest son's college seems to be having a very high rate of suicides right now.  They had 2 this past week and word is that there have been 5 since the start of the school year.  It is a school of (roughly) 10,000.

There ARE measures in place at his school, and a decent sized counseling staff.  But I am thinking it is still not enough.  AND, I am also thinking those who are at the breaking point often don't go seeking out counseling.  Or, they are told they have to wait a week or two or three to get in, and then it is too late.

My oldest son suffers from depression.  His therapist has said he has never worried about him being suicidal, but, as a mom, I worry.  We do everything listed in this article.  We listen, we try to be supportive, we tell him it is ok to fail, we try not to put too much pressure on him.  And we do a lot of this because he puts so much pressure on himself!  Way too much.  

This has really been hitting me this week.  DH and I do feel we have been very much, "You need to keep your scholarship or we can't afford it" and we see that as he regurgitates that back to us, the stress comes out in his tone.

I am changing.  I told DH this week that I don't care if he loses his scholarship.  At least we will have a son.  I would rather pay more, let him take a longer amount of time, etc.....than have him so stressed he wants to no longer live.

Anyway, sorry for the personal rant in there.  I am curious if you feel your child's college has adequate counseling services and if they are very accessible?  It may be that my son's particular college just has more students needing services than most traditional colleges.  I am not sure.

  • Like 8
  • Sad 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My ds’s college does not have adequate counseling services. He has had multiple friends go there and they were not helpful. Students usually seek off-campus help, which is limited because his school is rural. Often, they use help at home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think both boys' universities have/had adequate counseling services. Younger DS's school in particular seems to push mental self care, as in the past they've had years of alarmingly high suicide rates among students. And yes, this is one reason we didn't push our boys to apply for scholarships, and certainly not ones that required maintaining a minimum GPA. But we're fortunate that financially we didn't have to do that. I was particularly concerned about DS19, as he's on the spectrum and the suicide rates for those teens/young adults is much higher than for NT people. Thankfully he seems to be thriving.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My son isn't in college right now, but that is partly because like you, I realized that school needed to be secondary to mental health. Someone asked the other day if DS19 had ever made eagle scout and what I wanted to say was "when he was a teenager we just were focused on keeping him alive, off drugs, and out of jail. Eagle scout wasn't on our radar."

It is TERRIFYING when you have a child with mental health issues. My son has had depression and anxiety as well as being on the spectrum, which increases his risk of suicide. I think about it a lot, and yes, it guides my parenting a lot. Better a slower path to success, whatever that looks likes, than the fast track to burn out. 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First- ((hugs)))

We've dealt with this with 2 of my kids.  The counselling seemed adequate.  The thing one of my daughter's told me is that it takes about 6 months before she felt truly comfortable with a counselor and felt like they had built up a good working relationship.   Maybe this comes into play with many kids?

My other daughter's counselor here at home will do phone consultations (as will her Psyc.).   She's told me it isn't quite the same but it helps in a pinch since she's already been seen this counselor off and on for many years.  She also will go to the counseling dept at her school.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was really worried about this with ds since he's had a history of depression. I think part of the issue is how long it can actually take to find a good fit therapist so I wouldn't think most on campus counselors can do very much. Ds has had his own therapist for the past three years and she's been great about college. She allows him to check in via email and phone and she herself has checked in via email a few weeks after he left for college. So far, he's doing well.

Ds did have one person on his floor express suicidal thoughts the second week of school and he called me right away asking what to do. He spoke with his RA and I found the college had a way for me, or ds, to report it so they could reach out immediately. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, DawnM said:

 

There ARE measures in place at his school, and a decent sized counseling staff.  But I am thinking it is still not enough.  AND, I am also thinking those who are at the breaking point often don't go seeking out counseling.  Or, they are told they have to wait a week or two or three to get in, and then it is too late.

My mom worked as the receptionist in a counseling center at a highly ranked public university until she retired this year. The large majority of suicides on her campus had never contacted campus counseling. Someone who presented with suicidal thoughts or self harm would not have left the office (or gotten off the phone) without immediately seeing a psychologist and being referred (and escorted) to appropriate treatment. There are protocols that staff must follow in order to ensure that someone doesn't just disappear before they are seen.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's one college on my dd#1's college list that I would not send another one of my kids to because the mental health counseling according to the stuff I've read on the internet is very limited appointment-wise:  only limited # of visits and then they refer you out. It is so hard to find a good fit and tough to get comfy if you can only meet 4 times before being passed on. Just nope . . . 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My DD college sophomore struggles with depression/anxiety as well as epilepsy (epilepsy has a very high correlation with mental health issues). She has had issues with suicidal ideation from time to time. She is in school about 2000 miles away, and has used the counseling service at her school a number of times, particularly last winter after my mother passed away. They were quite easy to get an appointment with, which I really appreciated - she is at a pretty small LAC with about 1700 students so that may make it easier. However, it is hard to see the same counselor more than once. I think they were helpful as a stop-gap, but her dad and I really want her to find a therapist out there that she can see on an weekly or biweekly basis. But that is a whole other project, which takes quite a bit of time, and she hasn't gotten around to it yet. I do worry about her, but she is in communication with me very frequently - her sister lives just two hours away, and I also know some of her friends if I get really concerned.

Thankfully she has learned to be quite open about her struggles, and her friends have been a wonderful support system for her. Her school is very intense (block system scheduling which has pluses and minuses for her), and she puts a lot of pressure on herself to do well. In September when she was really struggling for a bit, her good friends started checking up on her regularly. That gives me a lot of comfort! She's been coping much better since then, and I think she's learning that she doesn't need to get an A in every class which helps a lot. 

Learning to reach out has been a huge step for her, and one that she learned in high school (or honestly she would never have made it through). I worry more about the kids who keep it all inside.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

((Dawn M)) You are not alone, Dawn.

I have a new thread sitting here waiting for me to hit submit but I haven't been able to do it even though I've wanted to many times. I'll share a bit here.

This time last year my DS was falling into a deep depression due to some academic circumstances beyond his control. With the pressure he puts on himself to succeed and maintain his scholarships, he became suicidal. After many phone calls between his academic advisor, the university counseling center and him, we managed to piece together a treatment & survival plan. Believe me, it was difficult due to FERPA & HIPPA. Luckily, everyone listened and did what they could. Daily sessions in counseling, appts between profs, counselors, and advisors, daily phone calls and texts. He had to drop a class which made it impossible for him to graduate this year; this added to his depression. Now he'll need more time on campus and more $. It was a vicious cycle. 

With the help of his counselor, he applied for a medical leave for Winter semester and, when I picked him up last December, no one knew if he would ever go back but he was alive. Albeit not the same guy DH had dropped off in August but he was alive. He had lost about 20 pounds and couldn't do anything more than put on a pair of sweats and a t-shirt. It was heart breaking. He ended up being hospitalized for most of January.

His University had given him a strict set of guidlelines that needed to be followed and met in order for him to return to campus. DS diligently met those guidelines and applied for reinstatement for the shorter Spring term. Letting him go that month was awful. I let him drive himself (despite having nightmares of him driving the car into a tree or off a mountain) and had to have faith in the university. This faith was well-placed. They had procedures and contacts set up before he got there and they took care of him. They made certain he had good suitemates and people knew where he was. There was no hiding or sequestering possible. He left his video games at home and engaged with the campus. Perhaps best of all, the school continued his academic scholarship, didn't charge extra for room and board, and gave him a small stipend to help cover expenses. They wanted him to be able to focus on class and being healthy without any undue worry or stress. 

DH and I were grateful since, at that time, we were carrying the burden of hospital bills and other expenses associated with his suicide attempt. We were also grateful that the university's counseling center was free to him. 

He went back this fall and is doing well. One of the issues he had was that his university has a strong Greek life and DS chose to be independent. People at his school recognized that they weren't supporting the independents enough and asked DS to help found a new non-Greek living community. This year, for the first time, DS is living with a group of other non-Greek students and forming a tribe. The school also is following his progress Again, I am grateful to everyone there for what they have done for him and our family. DS will not graduate this Spring but the school is preparing him for a mid-year graduation next year. We know that we will more than likely have to pay oop for that extra semester but we are going to do everything we can to make that happen.

For me, I don't think I'll ever stop worrying. Every day I don't hear from him, my mind immediately goes dark and I think about what could be happening. If he does text me, my heart skips a beat and I wonder if now is the time I'l need to get in the car and go. I make certain I do not discuss money with him and I let him know that if he ever needs anything all he has to do is ask. I have learned to not hope for Honors, any of the laudes, or Phi Beta Kappa. Yes, those were my dreams for him. Dreams he could easily have achieved. I no longer hope for the life changing internship or the study abroad experience that will set him on his life's path. I simply rejoice that he is here. When he smiles or laughs I feel blessed. When he needs something I happily meet that need. He asks for so little as it is. But I know for the next month or so, I will live with trepidation and hesitation, and waiting for a repeat of last year.

There are days I text him "I love you" multiple times.

Edited by The Accidental Coach
  • Like 26

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, chiguirre said:

My mom worked as the receptionist in a counseling center at a highly ranked public university until she retired this year. The large majority of suicides on her campus had never contacted campus counseling. Someone who presented with suicidal thoughts or self harm would not have left the office (or gotten off the phone) without immediately seeing a psychologist and being referred (and escorted) to appropriate treatment. There are protocols that staff must follow in order to ensure that someone doesn't just disappear before they are seen.

 

Yes, that is true.  My son ONLY went when he had to, in order to get accommodations.  

And this is one reason our school has gone to a program where we meet with every student for even just a few minutes so that we establish a comfort level, where students at least know who we are and have met us face to face, not just in the hallway, etc....

And of course someone with suicide ideation wouldn't leave the office, legally you can't allow it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, DawnM said:

 

And of course someone with suicide ideation wouldn't leave the office, legally you can't allow it.

And yet some people live with frequent suicidal ideation for years. I suppose they learn to just not talk about it.

Ugh this is all so complex and difficult ?

  • Like 2
  • Sad 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, The Accidental Coach said:

((Dawn M)) You are not alone, Dawn.

 

For me, I don't think I'll ever stop worrying. Every day I don't hear from him, my mind immediately goes dark and I think about what could be happening. If he does text me, my heart skips a beat and I wonder if now is the time I'l need to get in the car and go. I make certain I do not discuss money with him and I let him know that if he ever needs anything all he has to do is ask. I have learned to not hope for Honors, any of the laudes, or Phi Beta Kappa. Yes, those were my dreams for him. Dreams he could easily have achieved. I no longer hope for the life changing internship or the study abroad experience that will set him on his life's path. I simply rejoice that he is here. When he smiles or laughs I feel blessed. When he needs something I happily meet that need. He asks for so little as it is. But I know for the next month or so, I will live with trepidation and hesitation, and waiting for a repeat of last year.

There are days I text him "I love you" multiple times.

 

Yes to the bolded 100000X.  I pray and pray and hope and know I have to let go because there is no local school that can meet the needs he has academically.  We even considered me going down and getting an apt with him for 3 years.  But we are letting go more and he has fantastic days and so so days and bad days.  

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, maize said:

And yet some people live with frequent suicidal ideation for years. I suppose they learn to just not talk about it.

Ugh this is all so complex and difficult ?

 

If they deny it, then yeah, it is hard to know if it is really there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it might help if we really emphasize to our kids that lost scholarships, a bad grade, a wasted semester, dropping out of college totally, these things happen. And life goes on. That "poop happens" and it doesn't ruin your life. So many times it is impossible for them to see beyond what they planned...they haven't had the experience yet to realize that plans change, goals change, people change, and that is okay. They planned to go to college for 4 years and graduate with a particular degree and if that can't happen than life is over. They don't see any other options. The language shows it - "I HAVE to get an A on this test", "I HAVE to keep my scholarship" "I HAVE to graduate in the spring". No, you don't HAVE to. It would be ideal, but if it doesn't happen then we will figure something out. There is always a plan B, and C, and X, Y, and Z. But if you don't spell that out to them, they may not get that. It is so urgent and immediate that they don't see that 40 years from now, taking an extra year to finish college won't be the biggest regret of their lives. That their worth isn't judged by grades. That being a happy plumber is better than a miserable doctor. That taking a year to learn self care skills won't ruin their lives. 

Some of this seems obvious, but they don't see it. Other times, we feel the same pressure they do, and so it isn't obvious even to us. 

  • Like 15

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, DawnM said:

https://www.verywellmind.com/college-and-teen-suicide-statistics-3570768

"According to the American College Health Association (ACHA) the suicide rate among young adults, ages 15-24, has tripled since the 1950s and suicide is currently the second most common cause of death among college students."

My oldest son's college seems to be having a very high rate of suicides right now.  They had 2 this past week and word is that there have been 5 since the start of the school year.  It is a school of (roughly) 10,000.

There ARE measures in place at his school, and a decent sized counseling staff.  But I am thinking it is still not enough.  AND, I am also thinking those who are at the breaking point often don't go seeking out counseling.  Or, they are told they have to wait a week or two or three to get in, and then it is too late.

My oldest son suffers from depression.  His therapist has said he has never worried about him being suicidal, but, as a mom, I worry.  We do everything listed in this article.  We listen, we try to be supportive, we tell him it is ok to fail, we try not to put too much pressure on him.  And we do a lot of this because he puts so much pressure on himself!  Way too much.  

This has really been hitting me this week.  DH and I do feel we have been very much, "You need to keep your scholarship or we can't afford it" and we see that as he regurgitates that back to us, the stress comes out in his tone.

I am changing.  I told DH this week that I don't care if he loses his scholarship.  At least we will have a son.  I would rather pay more, let him take a longer amount of time, etc.....than have him so stressed he wants to no longer live.

Anyway, sorry for the personal rant in there.  I am curious if you feel your child's college has adequate counseling services and if they are very accessible?  It may be that my son's particular college just has more students needing services than most traditional colleges.  I am not sure.

MY DD and I were just discussing the many strange illnesses we see in teens today.  I don't mean undiagnosed illness, I mean newly-appearing.  I was puzzling about it, and she said to me, very matter-of-factly, that there was way more stress today than 30 years ago.  She's right, and I realized my role in contributing to her illness last year that I am sure was stress-induced because I wanted everything to go just perfectly.  I'm getting better at backing off; like you, I had to say "this isn't as important as my kid's health". 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, StellaM said:

Contagion.

Loss of suicide taboos.

Lack of mental health care.

 

Yes this, though in some cases it may not be "lack" of mental health care" but rather inappropriate and/or to a perhaps lesser extent, ineffective mental health care.  I remember once saying to a psych..."I feel like we have taken a bowl of alphabet soup, scooped out a bunch of letters, and then threw them at the wall to see what stuck."   

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, maize said:

And yet some people live with frequent suicidal ideation for years. I suppose they learn to just not talk about it.

Ugh this is all so complex and difficult ?

This is my daughter. Once every month or so she will have bouts of what she calls "intrusive thoughts" about suicide, but she has no plans or desire to carry it through. When this happens it is very distressing to her. Thankfully she is willing and able to call me when this happens, and I have told her that I am available to her day or night. I have wondered sometimes if these intrusive thoughts are related to the medication she takes for epilepsy (all have black box warnings), or even to seizure activity, but there's no way of really knowing and it's not like she can discontinue the meds to find out. 

The therapist she had through high school was able to distinguish these intrusive thoughts from the very few occasions several years ago when she actually had more serious (although thankfully still vague) suicidal plans. She never needed to be hospitalized, but did have periods of time where she was seeing her therapist several times a week. I am torn about her bringing this issue to a school counselor who doesn't know her well and having them over-react, which honestly can be just as dangerous in its own way as under-reacting because it discourages honest communication. This is one very compelling reason that we would like her to develop a long-term relationship with a therapist in the city where she is going to school. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ktgrok said:

I think it might help if we really emphasize to our kids that lost scholarships, a bad grade, a wasted semester, dropping out of college totally, these things happen. And life goes on. That "poop happens" and it doesn't ruin your life. So many times it is impossible for them to see beyond what they planned...they haven't had the experience yet to realize that plans change, goals change, people change, and that is okay. They planned to go to college for 4 years and graduate with a particular degree and if that can't happen than life is over. They don't see any other options. The language shows it - "I HAVE to get an A on this test", "I HAVE to keep my scholarship" "I HAVE to graduate in the spring". No, you don't HAVE to. It would be ideal, but if it doesn't happen then we will figure something out. There is always a plan B, and C, and X, Y, and Z. But if you don't spell that out to them, they may not get that. It is so urgent and immediate that they don't see that 40 years from now, taking an extra year to finish college won't be the biggest regret of their lives. That their worth isn't judged by grades. That being a happy plumber is better than a miserable doctor. That taking a year to learn self care skills won't ruin their lives. 

Some of this seems obvious, but they don't see it. Other times, we feel the same pressure they do, and so it isn't obvious even to us. 

You what to know what made me realize this, as a teen.  A chemistry teacher once told our whole class that he had flunked not one, not two, but three chemistry classes in college.   And, it wasn't because he couldn't handle chemistry, he was actually a pretty good teacher, imo (vs my history teacher who gave completely wrong facts in "honors" US history) .  But he flunked them because he partied too hard.  

I think maybe schools themselves have to step up the "screw ups won't end your life" line.  I got pregnant at 17, and yet, I still managed to get my degree, get married to a great guy, own a house, etc etc etc.  And my oldest LIVED that.  My DH didn't even start college until after he turned 30.  Her uncle has a criminal record, drugs and more, and yet he has also managed to turn it around, got a degree, has a family, etc etc.  My oldest has a life full of examples of how screwing up doesn't have to ruin your life, and yet, she actually said, more than once "If I don't pass XYZ, I am screwed and it's all over."  I think there is a lot of pressure coming from schools.  It starts young with all that testing, and works it way up.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, happysmileylady said:

You what to know what made me realize this, as a teen.  A chemistry teacher once told our whole class that he had flunked not one, not two, but three chemistry classes in college.   And, it wasn't because he couldn't handle chemistry, he was actually a pretty good teacher, imo (vs my history teacher who gave completely wrong facts in "honors" US history) .  But he flunked them because he partied too hard.  

I think maybe schools themselves have to step up the "screw ups won't end your life" line.  I got pregnant at 17, and yet, I still managed to get my degree, get married to a great guy, own a house, etc etc etc.  And my oldest LIVED that.  My DH didn't even start college until after he turned 30.  Her uncle has a criminal record, drugs and more, and yet he has also managed to turn it around, got a degree, has a family, etc etc.  My oldest has a life full of examples of how screwing up doesn't have to ruin your life, and yet, she actually said, more than once "If I don't pass XYZ, I am screwed and it's all over."  I think there is a lot of pressure coming from schools.  It starts young with all that testing, and works it way up.

That is true a lot does come from the schools. "Success is everything" is not a healthy mantra. I do see it in a lot of schools, and it starts younger and younger it seems. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, The Accidental Coach said:

((Dawn M)) You are not alone, Dawn.

I have a new thread sitting here waiting for me to hit submit but I haven't been able to do it even though I've wanted to many times. I'll share a bit here.

This time last year my DS was falling into a deep depression due to some academic circumstances beyond his control. With the pressure he puts on himself to succeed and maintain his scholarships, he became suicidal. After many phone calls between his academic advisor, the university counseling center and him, we managed to piece together a treatment & survival plan. Believe me, it was difficult due to FERPA & HIPPA. Luckily, everyone listened and did what they could. Daily sessions in counseling, appts between profs, counselors, and advisors, daily phone calls and texts. He had to drop a class which made it impossible for him to graduate this year; this added to his depression. Now he'll need more time on campus and more $. It was a vicious cycle. 

With the help of his counselor, he applied for a medical leave for Winter semester and, when I picked him up last December, no one knew if he would ever go back but he was alive. Albeit not the same guy DH had dropped off in August but he was alive. He had lost about 20 pounds and couldn't do anything more than put on a pair of sweats and a t-shirt. It was heart breaking. He ended up being hospitalized for most of January.

His University had given him a strict set of guidlelines that needed to be followed and met in order for him to return to campus. DS diligently met those guidelines and applied for reinstatement for the shorter Spring term. Letting him go that month was awful. I let him drive himself (despite having nightmares of him driving the car into a tree or off a mountain) and had to have faith in the university. This faith was well-placed. They had procedures and contacts set up before he got there and they took care of him. They made certain he had good suitemates and people knew where he was. There was no hiding or sequestering possible. He left his video games at home and engaged with the campus. Perhaps best of all, the school continued his academic scholarship, didn't charge extra for room and board, and gave him a small stipend to help cover expenses. They wanted him to be able to focus on class and being healthy without any undue worry or stress. 

DH and I were grateful since, at that time, we were carrying the burden of hospital bills and other expenses associated with his suicide attempt. We were also grateful that the university's counseling center was free to him. 

He went back this fall and is doing well. One of the issues he had was that his university has a strong Greek life and DS chose to be independent. People at his school recognized that they weren't supporting the independents enough and asked DS to help found a new non-Greek living community. This year, for the first time, DS is living with a group of other non-Greek students and forming a tribe. The school also is following his progress Again, I am grateful to everyone there for what they have done for him and our family. DS will not graduate this Spring but the school is preparing him for a mid-year graduation next year. We know that we will more than likely have to pay oop for that extra semester but we are going to do everything we can to make that happen.

For me, I don't think I'll ever stop worrying. Every day I don't hear from him, my mind immediately goes dark and I think about what could be happening. If he does text me, my heart skips a beat and I wonder if now is the time I'l need to get in the car and go. I make certain I do not discuss money with him and I let him know that if he ever needs anything all he has to do is ask. I have learned to not hope for Honors, any of the laudes, or Phi Beta Kappa. Yes, those were my dreams for him. Dreams he could easily have achieved. I no longer hope for the life changing internship or the study abroad experience that will set him on his life's path. I simply rejoice that he is here. When he smiles or laughs I feel blessed. When he needs something I happily meet that need. He asks for so little as it is. But I know for the next month or so, I will live with trepidation and hesitation, and waiting for a repeat of last year.

There are days I text him "I love you" multiple times.

I’m so sorry to hear about everything your son and family have been through, but happy to hear the college has responded well. All of you are in my thoughts as you travel this difficult road.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Over the past few years I've come to know a few high school students struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide.  While they were getting the care they needed from licensed professionals, what surprised me most was that each one of them chose to attend a college or university quite far from home.  I would think that a student needing additional support would want to be closer to family, at least with a reasonable drive time of a few hours.  That way if they needed to be near their family or friends or a trusted doctor they wouldn't be so isolated.

Currently my daughter has a friend who is a college senior who has depression and crippling anxiety.  She is looking at schools half way across the country and I keep asking her mother if perhaps it is better if she is closer to home.  They are so intent on a prestigious school that they aren't giving her mental health the priority it deserves.  I wonder how often prestige or finances in school choice override other needs.

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, chiguirre said:

 Someone who presented with suicidal thoughts or self harm would not have left the office (or gotten off the phone) without immediately seeing a psychologist and being referred (and escorted) to appropriate treatment. 

... and that can backfire in a big way.

At my DD's college, the upperclass students told the freshmen never to go to the counseling services and if they did, never to let on that they might be depressed or, heaven forbid, suicidal because that would mean involuntary hospitalization and suspension from school

https://www.chicagomaroon.com/article/2014/11/4/those-who-fall-in-the-middle/

Because colleges want to cover their behind, they may not want to let students with mental health issues remain enrolled. It's better to kick them out so they don't kill themselves on the college's watch. Consequently, students are afraid to use the counseling services and know that if they do, they should lie to the counselors.

https://www.newsweek.com/2014/02/14/how-colleges-flunk-mental-health-245492.html

and not just 4 years ago, but it's an ongoing problem:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/28/us/college-suicide-stanford-leaves.html

Edited by regentrude
  • Like 5
  • Sad 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Library Momma said:

Over the past few years I've come to know a few high school students struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide.  While they were getting the care they needed from licensed professionals, what surprised me most was that each one of them chose to attend a college or university quite far from home.  I would think that a student needing additional support would want to be closer to family, at least with a reasonable drive time of a few hours.  That way if they needed to be near their family or friends or a trusted doctor they wouldn't be so isolated.

that assumes that the family is (perceived as) a source of safety and support. For many young people it may be quite the opposite

  • Like 2
  • Sad 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, regentrude said:

... and that can backfire in a big way.

At my DD's college, the upperclass students told the freshmen never to go to the counseling services and if they did, never to let on that they might be depressed or, heaven forbid, suicidal because that would mean involuntary hospitalization and suspension from school

https://www.chicagomaroon.com/article/2014/11/4/those-who-fall-in-the-middle/

Because colleges want to cover their behind, they may not want to let students with mental health issues remain enrolled. It's better to kick them out so they don't kill themselves on the college's watch. Consequently, students are afraid to use the counseling services and know that if they do, they should lie to the counselors.

https://www.newsweek.com/2014/02/14/how-colleges-flunk-mental-health-245492.html

and not just 4 years ago, but it's an ongoing problem:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/28/us/college-suicide-stanford-leaves.html

This is horrifying. Mental health care in this country is just a mess all over.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know where my university is on concealing services now, in terms of meeting demand.  There were services when I was there, and there are more now, but of course there is also more demand.

I'm not actually that sure to what extent these services are really helping the problem though, even on an individual level.  I'm sure some are helped, but somehow my sense is that they are not able to really get to the roots of the problem, or even approach them, for a lot of these kids.

I have quite a few friends who teach at the university, some for many years, and they have noticed the increase in kids having problems.  One in particular has been a chaplain for many years and says he's not seen it like this before.  Most of the ones I talk to see it as not really coming from the university itself, it's part of a larger problem these kids would be having whatever they were doing.  The kids are easily stressed, don't have much resilience or ability to cope, and seem lost.  I don't know if it's a cultural thing or what.

 

Edited by Bluegoat
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, scholastica said:

This is horrifying. Mental health care in this country is just a mess all over.

The problem is that colleges are held responsible for something over which they have no control, and are supposed to not only provide an education, but also parenting and medical care. It is one thing to expect a college to have counselors that help students who have test anxiety - it's a completely different thing to expect colleges to be sufficiently staffed with licensed mental health professionals to provide ongoing treatment for students with severe mental illness. I think this is an unreasonable expectation, and I think it is unreasonable to hold the college responsible for its student's health problems.

Edited by regentrude
  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, DawnM said:

 

If they deny it, then yeah, it is hard to know if it is really there.

Well, yeah, but if suicidal ideation is always there as an option of last resort, in the absence of a plan and genuine intent, it is often counter productive for ideation alone to produce the results that admitting to it are likely to cause (urgent appointments at least but quite possibly hospitalization).  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if issues with lack of sleep, blue light, constant dopamine hits from checking social media, etc play a role in all of this? Like, not the cause, but a factor. 

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also think very few people get outside in fresh air these days. I think that is crippling us, as a society. I see such a difference in myself, my kids, my husband, etc if we get outdoors enough. I don't know if it is the sunlight, the fresh air, something unknown..but it helps. Heck, they've shown just walking by some trees on a city street can help your mental health. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Terabith said:

Well, yeah, but if suicidal ideation is always there as an option of last resort, in the absence of a plan and genuine intent, it is often counter productive for ideation alone to produce the results that admitting to it are likely to cause (urgent appointments at least but quite possibly hospitalization).  

Yes, this is what I was trying to get at.

I know people who have experienced frequent suicidal ideation over very long periods of time without ever actually attempting suicide. If any mention of ideation brings an automatic major alarm response, why would such people admit to suicidal ideation?

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Ktgrok said:

I also think very few people get outside in fresh air these days. I think that is crippling us, as a society. I see such a difference in myself, my kids, my husband, etc if we get outdoors enough. I don't know if it is the sunlight, the fresh air, something unknown..but it helps. Heck, they've shown just walking by some trees on a city street can help your mental health. 

Though many college students are out in the fresh air walking about campus (often a pleasant sort of place with grass and trees) more than the vast majority of folks.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, as a society we are devaluing play, pushing academics and formal supervised extracurricular activities ever younger, and being so hung up on helicopter parenting that children are older adolescents before they have any time unsupervised, by themselves, and it's even rarer for them to be able to make their own decisions.  These are all things that studies say decrease resilience and increase the rates of mental illness.  And then they turn 18 and are suddenly turned free, but warned that every decision will impact them forever.  It's a recipe for not being able to cope.  

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Terabith said:

Well, yeah, but if suicidal ideation is always there as an option of last resort, in the absence of a plan and genuine intent, it is often counter productive for ideation alone to produce the results that admitting to it are likely to cause (urgent appointments at least but quite possibly hospitalization).  

yeah . . . . . I'm going to tred carefully on this subject (it hits, way too close . . . . )  . . . but not everyone has a plan, even if they're thinking about it all. the. time.   the action can end up being very impulsive.   and in the end, they can be just as dead.   tbh: I feel like those who tell people they "have a plan" . . are asking for help, becasue part of them believes (hopes) help is still possible.   those who have truly given up, do NOT "tell people".  because "what's the point"?

and the message those people get is "well, you aren't bad enough to be urgent because that person over there "has a plan, and has said so" (even if they  never act on it.). - so you have to wait."

OP - good luck and letting your son know he, himself, is more important than anything he does (or doesn't do. re: scholarship).   some kids need space to figure out what they really want to do instead of falling into expected slots.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

yeah . . . . . I'm going to tred carefully on this subject (it hits, way too close . . . . )  . . . but not everyone has a plan, even if they're thinking about it all. the. time.   the action can end up being very impulsive.   and in the end, they can be just as dead.   tbh: I feel like those who tell people they "have a plan" . . are asking for help, becasue part of them believes (hopes) help is still possible.   those who have truly given up, do NOT "tell people".  because "what's the point"?

and the message those people get is "well, you aren't bad enough to be urgent because that person over there "has a plan, and has said so" (even if they  never act on it.). - so you have to wait."

OP - good luck and letting your son know he, himself, is more important than anything he does (or doesn't do. re: scholarship).   some kids need space to figure out what they really want to do instead of falling into expected slots.

Yeah.  It hits close to home for me, too.  Because those thoughts are always there for me.  I'm not planning on acting on them.  But it's always there as an OPTION.  And I even have a plan.  But that doesn't really mean anything about how urgent things are, because I have a plan for EVERYTHING.  Like, I sit at traffic lights and ponder, "Okay.  What if aliens landed in the middle of this intersection?  What would I do?"  I literally have plans for eight million things that are highly unlikely to ever occur.  It's just the way my brain works.  I'm a planner.  The relevant question is, "Are the thoughts so intense that you feel like you cannot stop yourself from acting on them?"  Or, "Do you have suicidal intent?"  I honestly cannot imagine a person who has never thought about how they would do it, if they were going to commit suicide.  But it's a difficult thing to explain to a mental health professional who doesn't know you well.  So in practice, the best thing to do is deny.  

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, DawnM said:

 

If they deny it, then yeah, it is hard to know if it is really there.

 

It's a chronic condition for some people; they have to learn to live with it.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Terabith said:

Yeah.  It hits close to home for me, too.  Because those thoughts are always there for me.  I'm not planning on acting on them.  But it's always there as an OPTION.  And I even have a plan.  But that doesn't really mean anything about how urgent things are, because I have a plan for EVERYTHING.  Like, I sit at traffic lights and ponder, "Okay.  What if aliens landed in the middle of this intersection?  What would I do?"  I literally have plans for eight million things that are highly unlikely to ever occur.  It's just the way my brain works.  I'm a planner.  The relevant question is, "Are the thoughts so intense that you feel like you cannot stop yourself from acting on them?"  Or, "Do you have suicidal intent?"  I honestly cannot imagine a person who has never thought about how they would do it, if they were going to commit suicide.  But it's a difficult thing to explain to a mental health professional who doesn't know you well.  So in practice, the best thing to do is deny.  

here's one to add to your sitting at stop light list . . . . .

if two lanes are turning left - which lane to you go to becuase some ***** might do a left turn in front of someone else, causing someone else to crash into them, spin around - and crash into you head on. . . even though you were just sitting at a stop light . . . . . (that chickee totaled two cars.  at least the momentum had greatly reduced before I was hit.   but I''m still dealing with the injury to my leg. - - take your foot OFF the brake!)

  • Sad 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

Yes this, though in some cases it may not be "lack" of mental health care" but rather inappropriate and/or to a perhaps lesser extent, ineffective mental health care.  I remember once saying to a psych..."I feel like we have taken a bowl of alphabet soup, scooped out a bunch of letters, and then threw them at the wall to see what stuck."   

 

Yes. I don't know what it's like there, but here the mental health care easily available to students is the very general kind, that has a high chance of helping the worried well, the kids who would probably have gotten through difficult situations - struggling with course work, or a relationship break down - with the support of family and friends anyway.

When someone is going through a major depressive episode, or any other serious mental health crisis, a few sessions of CBT style counselling probably isn't going to cut it.

And yes, even gold standard treatments, if available, aren't guaranteed to work. And often we are just throwing things at the wall and hoping something sticks.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, regentrude said:

The problem is that colleges are held responsible for something over which they have no control, and are supposed to not only provide an education, but also parenting and medical care. It is one thing to expect a college to have counselors that help students who have test anxiety - it's a completely different thing to expect colleges to be sufficiently staffed with licensed mental health professionals to provide ongoing treatment for students with severe mental illness. I think this is an unreasonable expectation, and I think it is unreasonable to hold the college responsible for its student's health problems.

I cannot imagine working in student services at a university.  We are dealing with a suicide on our college campus this week.  It is a complicated situation.  The student had been involved n a hazing incident earlier this semester.  Now the university is facing criticism regrading whether its disciplinary action (suspending fraternity activities and the student facing expulsion from the university) led to the suicide.  At the same time, the university is pressured to do more about hazing.  It is a very sad societal issue that universities alone cannot solve.

  • Like 1
  • Sad 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Bluegoat said:

I have quite a few friends who teach at the university, some for many years, and they have noticed the increase in kids having problems.  One in particular has been a chaplain for many years and says he's not seen it like this before.  Most of the ones I talk to see it as not really coming from the university itself, it's part of a larger problem these kids would be having whatever they were doing.  The kids are easily stressed, don't have much resilience or ability to cope, and seem lost.  I don't know if it's a cultural thing or what.

 

I used to be a girl guide leader with the smallest kids, and remember a shift like this. Suddenly, our new batch of girls couldn't make mess or noise, had virtually no initiative and sought permission for pretty much every idea they wanted to act on. "Can I draw diamonds on my Christmas cracker?" "It's your Christmas cracker, Lovely, draw diamonds on it if you want to." It was disconcerting. We figured their lives were so regimented there just wasn't any room for being the scrappy little humans that people usually are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Rosie_0801 said:

 

I used to be a girl guide leader with the smallest kids, and remember a shift like this. Suddenly, our new batch of girls couldn't make mess or noise, had virtually no initiative and sought permission for pretty much every idea they wanted to act on. "Can I draw diamonds on my Christmas cracker?" "It's your Christmas cracker, Lovely, draw diamonds on it if you want to." It was disconcerting. We figured their lives were so regimented there just wasn't any room for being the scrappy little humans that people usually are.

That's so sad!! ?

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Reefgazer said:

MY DD and I were just discussing the many strange illnesses we see in teens today.  I don't mean undiagnosed illness, I mean newly-appearing.  I was puzzling about it, and she said to me, very matter-of-factly, that there was way more stress today than 30 years ago.  She's right, and I realized my role in contributing to her illness last year that I am sure was stress-induced because I wanted everything to go just perfectly.  I'm getting better at backing off; like you, I had to say "this isn't as important as my kid's health". 

This is so true. I have to do a lot more intentional self-care to avoid feeling burnt out. I do blame a significant amount of this added stress on increased screen time, social media and the ever-advancing technology that promises us that we can now cram more than ever into our days because of some new invention or app.

I need time away from screens and it is becoming more difficult as all work is done on the computer and cell phone is used constantly for communicating. We are expected to be somewhere at the drop of a hat or submit another report within the hour because we can be contacted anywhere and everywhere and we do technically have the capacity to do all these things but our brains and our bodies are having a harder time keeping up. 

Edited by Liz CA
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The news is a big part of it too, or rather, how we are bombarded with it. I don't just mean from actual news sources, but everywhere. You used to read the paper once, at MOST twice a day. Your brain got that hit of bad news once or twice in a 24 hour period. Now, if I scroll through facebook after a big news story I'll see it a dozen times, posted by various friends. So to my lizard brain it seems like there were a dozen different shootings or famines or whatever, not just one. And that's just the first time I look at social media that day. If I check in every few hours, I'll see that story again and again and again posted by 4 different news sites and  a handful of other friends. So my brain thinks there have bene ANOTHER dozen massacres. And it's just noon! We are NOT built to deal with that. We evolved to handle the bad stuff that happened in our little tribe, not every outbreak of war or disease across the entire globe, reported every minute of every day. Our brains don't know that WE are not in danger from an ebola outbreak a hemisphere away when we watch that news report or hear the update about it every hour on the hour on the radio. That's a crap load of cortisol to be hitting our systems on the regular. It has to be having an effect. 

I unfollowed EVERYONE in my newsfeed on facebook a few weeks ago because of this. I just couldn't handle it anymore.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

I wonder if issues with lack of sleep, blue light, constant dopamine hits from checking social media, etc play a role in all of this? Like, not the cause, but a factor. 

 

Yes, I absolutely think this is a large contributing factor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, texasmom33 said:

That's so sad!! ?

 

It's a strange old life when kids with messy hair makes you feel you've achieved something important, that's for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there is so much pressure on teens today.  Every choice and action each day is framed as a "this will be important for the rest of your life" decision.  If you don't take the correct math class in middle school and get a perfect score on every exam, you will not be in the top % of your graduating class, will not get in the college you want to get into, will not get the major you want, the career you want....

Also, every action can be recorded and stay with you for life.  A poor choice as a teen at a party can be videotaped, posted on social media, and be seen by people all over the world forever.  I was recently visiting my home town and realized a classmate of mine was running for state senate.  His running away after graduation with an underage girl in town, would today result in kidnapping charges and he would be a registered sex offender.  

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, jdahlquist said:

I think there is so much pressure on teens today.  Every choice and action each day is framed as a "this will be important for the rest of your life" decision.  If you don't take the correct math class in middle school and get a perfect score on every exam, you will not be in the top % of your graduating class, will not get in the college you want to get into, will not get the major you want, the career you want....

.  

 

This was what it was like at the IB magnet school I went to freshman year of high school. It's why I transferred out of there.  I actually had a teacher tell me, when he found out I was leaving the school, that leaving would be "the biggest mistake of my life". I think I actually laughed at him when he said it. Like dude, I'm 13, you think what high school I go to is going to be the biggest mistake of my life???? Overdramatic much????? But that was the attitude there. Mind you, kids had ulcers from the stress, were smoking pot to self medicate, etc etc. But by golly, they'd get that IB diploma!

Meanwhile, I transferred to the normal public school, took AP and honors classes, had fun, was a National Merit finalist, and did early enrollment at a state university when I was 17, living in the dorms and such. Gee, yeah, transferring high schools sure did ruin my life. 

What's sad is I think he truly believed it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, jdahlquist said:

I think there is so much pressure on teens today.  Every choice and action each day is framed as a "this will be important for the rest of your life" decision.  If you don't take the correct math class in middle school and get a perfect score on every exam, you will not be in the top % of your graduating class, will not get in the college you want to get into, will not get the major you want, the career you want....

Also, every action can be recorded and stay with you for life.  A poor choice as a teen at a party can be videotaped, posted on social media, and be seen by people all over the world forever.  I was recently visiting my home town and realized a classmate of mine was running for state senate.  His running away after graduation with an underage girl in town, would today result in kidnapping charges and he would be a registered sex offender.  

 

Yes. So much this. I know people used to joke about having a "permanent record" when I was growing up. Now it's real. It's like living in the smallest of small towns you can never escape. Every misstep, misdeed, poor decision, or bad day can be recorded for posterity for the world to see and dredge up anytime they want.  There's no statute of limitations on things now as far as what society can decide to wield as a stick- even if it was completely acceptable or applauded 20 years ago. I really do feel bad that teens and young people have no escape from the pressure. Even if they aren't the ones recording it- they can almost rest assure someone is. 

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/27/2018 at 11:53 PM, Ktgrok said:

The news is a big part of it too, or rather, how we are bombarded with it. I don't just mean from actual news sources, but everywhere. You used to read the paper once, at MOST twice a day. Your brain got that hit of bad news once or twice in a 24 hour period. Now, if I scroll through facebook after a big news story I'll see it a dozen times, posted by various friends. So to my lizard brain it seems like there were a dozen different shootings or famines or whatever, not just one. And that's just the first time I look at social media that day. If I check in every few hours, I'll see that story again and again and again posted by 4 different news sites and  a handful of other friends. So my brain thinks there have bene ANOTHER dozen massacres. And it's just noon! We are NOT built to deal with that. We evolved to handle the bad stuff that happened in our little tribe, not every outbreak of war or disease across the entire globe, reported every minute of every day. Our brains don't know that WE are not in danger from an ebola outbreak a hemisphere away when we watch that news report or hear the update about it every hour on the hour on the radio. That's a crap load of cortisol to be hitting our systems on the regular. It has to be having an effect. 

I unfollowed EVERYONE in my newsfeed on facebook a few weeks ago because of this. I just couldn't handle it anymore.

Yes. Just do a quick google of “depression, Tru#p” and you will find a very widespread amount of worthwhile articles.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER & RECEIVE A COUPON FOR
10% OFF
We respect your privacy.You’ll hear about new products, special discounts & sales, and homeschooling tips. *Coupon only valid for first-time registrants. Coupon cannot be combined with any other offer. Entering your email address makes you eligible to receive future promotional emails.
0 Shares
Share
Tweet
Pin
×