Harvard University describes itself as…”the oldest institution of higher education in the United States”. Prestigious though it is there is a problem at Harvard… I find it noteworthy that there is something being done about it. Talking not hushing.

Donning a Mask: Suicide at HarvardA three part series was published last December in The Crimson, the daily student newspaper of the University. It openly explores tracks the ways students say University Health Services could serve them better and address student suicide. This is the sort of discourse that will break down the stigma of not coping and allow those who need to, to seek needed support, not only at Harvard but in any institutions or organisation.

The first article begins with a confronting quote “I thought it was better to take my own life than to accept failure“, the issue captured in one shocking sentence. The piece goes on to describe a suicide rate of 12.12 per 100,000— nearly twice the US national average for college students.

The second part looks at some of the problems and pressures that are being addressed to ensure students receive the health care they need

The third posting in the series of three notes that last year was marked by suicides that now have efforts by students and administrators emerging to take on the issue of mental well-being at the university. They are working to identify ways to provide students with the mental health support that’s needed.

If you, or someone you know, needs emotional support call Lifeline on 13 11 14 in Australia. Crisis counselling is available around the world.