34140

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wow. its really sad to hear.

i hope his family will not suffer.
 

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Im sorry to hear that. This happened to me while I was in grad school and a student from the medical school in which I took classes committed suicide (we were also in the same small groups too). Took us all by surprise, since he was always so nice. We were told after our final biochemistry exam (ironically right before Thanksgiving two years ago), and it really knocked the wind out of us. The way he went and the reasons why he took his own life were just tragic. The scary part is, he was ordered to undergo a mandatory 72 hour Psych eval since he started becoming erratic in his last few days and was released on his own cognizance. Sorry to hear about your classmate, find good company to keep yourself around.
 
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So, I guess the ones who are in the same med school with me know who I am referring to here today. A classmate from my school just killed himself yesterday. I guess it is not new, but I am somewhat bummed out, since I just talked to the person yesterday before I left the school. Smiling like usual, no sign of trouble. I hate myself right now because I can't recall the exact conversation, but I remember asking to him how things were going, and he said "alright, as usual" (not exact words, but something to that effect).

I know that some of us are more immune to stress and pain (if you can call it that), and some are more prone to it. And I am the first one to admit that I am a callous and less emotional person, yet regardless, things like what I happened yesterday is really sad. I honestly wish I had paid more attention to him carefully yesterday when I was talking to him for those few minutes. Perhaps things would have went differently. Is this useless, too late, guilt? I don't know.

I am a bit cowardish right now; I don't think I am exactly ready to face my feelings, so I am gonna just head right back down and study my brain off until I can't think for the rest of the day. But for many of you fellow med students, if you are thinking about suicide, please think twice. Perhaps you think no one will care, but there is always someone, and often more than one that you will hurt with the act. Yes, I think this is a bit of a politically charged statement, I think one should never think of one's life solely as one's own.

Anyhow, I wish another great day for everyone here...


I am sorry to hear about that, but I am equally surprised by your response to it.

what I mean is, before i came to med school my mom committed suicide (yeah, my grades suck because of it, but theres no excuses in school) and unless you have been through it or felt that way yourself, people are callous about it. That fact that you actually feel something, instead of the "oh how sad" or " wow, he must have been failing" stuff I have heard when students in my school experienced the same situation shows you are an empathetic human being (and will be a better doc because of it).

Know too that there was nothing YOU could have done to prevent this. Even if you had followed this person home, their mind was already set. This probably explains the suddenly happy demenour--but you didnt know the person well enough, so the time to say something --like, hey, you okay, when they are not thier usual self-you would not have gotten anyway.


It is hard to accept or understand, I know, but the only thing you can do now is push forward like you are doing.

You could also get involved with anything the school is doing, to keep that persons memmory intact.

And you could also take this as a lesson of sorts, to step back sometimes and notice those around you--youd be surprised how much you miss because of self absorption (we all do). Im not saying you have to get all dr phil, i mean as a doctor you have to pick up on clues from patients about thier conditions, so using this experience postively --to ask someone if something is wrong when something is clearly off--well, it can only help you, in yr career and life.

but please speak to someone, because it sounds like you are feeling some kind of guilt . I am sure the school has services set up after such a tragic incident.
 

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During third year, I've become pretty used to saying the phrase "that sucks" when patients have bad outcomes as a result of loosing the genetic lottery or just plain unluckiness. The guy today in the OR who came in for a PEG tube and ended up with an emergent tracheotomy got a "that sucks" and so does this.

That's probably been the hardest part this year in the sense of seeing badness happen right in front of you and then trying to make something of it. If I were you, I'd definitely continue to try and talk it out and keep studying and doing some things you enjoy, but at the end of the day, it's just another situation "that sucks" . . . .
 

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i think i know who youre talking about... unless there was another suicide i dont know about. there was another suicide from the same school not that long ago too.

it's so sad to imagine not being able to feel like you can go to someone and talk about your problems.
 

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You couldn't have done anything.

Some people just bottle it up and never show a clue what is going on on the other side of the mask...
 

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*not offering any medical/psych advise*

that said, I too lost a friend and coworker who committed suicide. Christmas Eve. We were the only staff on the floor on weekend nights with a bunch of travelers. He never showed up to work on Friday. Unfortunately you can't let all the staff just leave, especially over Christmas, so I did my job. My response was much like yours: just go study. just go to work. That mentality worked for a while.

However, we all deal with these things in our own time, and in our own way. For me, it was the third night, I didn't think I could come to work, but as I was driving in the stupidist song was on the radio: BOC "don't fear the reaper." It made me realize that I could never understand what happened, so at least I can imagine him going out with glory. Stupid, but it's how I got through it. I still think of him whenever I hear BOC.

You'll find your way to get through this too. Don't expect any one thing to happen during the grief process, but give yourself some slack come what may while you deal with this.

Best of luck.
 

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Hey there, looks like we're in the same class...

I think many of us are feeling the same way you are right now... We're all looking for a sign or trying to figure out if there was something we could have done for him that would have helped him find a different path. It's hurting me to realize that I don't think I had ever talked with him. I only remember him as a kind, friendly guy who smiled often.

It's difficult for me to even know what I'm feeling right now or think of anything helpful to tell you. I just know that he was one of us, and I'm hoping that through this tragedy we all do what we can as classmates to help and support each other now and for the future rough times we'll have as a class.

I'm not sure how I'm going to deal with my emotions, but I hope that whatever you choose to do will work for you. If you need to talk, let me know.
 

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1) Sorry to hear about the loss.

2) This is the dark side of med school thats not talked about..Everyone carries there own cross.

3) Every one deals with the stress in there own way.

4) I remember when I was at Boston U. undergrad..Some one jumped from the top of a new 12 story dorm.. It was indeed a sad day.

5)This is one reason why its ok to vent and get whatever anxiety you have out of you.. :(
 

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That's very sad, and I'm extremely sorry to hear it. But, I hope that all of you in that person's class can stop asking yourself what you could have done to avert the situation. Unfortunately, if it wasn't yesterday it is very likely it would have been a different day and it likely would have taken a massive intervention to stop it. From my experience people don't just do stuff like that on a whim usually. When it finally happens it was the umpteenth time they seriously considered it, but this time they just went through with it.
 

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It's the past. It's already happened, the only thing you can do is move on. Don't hate yourself for what you did or didn't do, because you can't change that.

It sucks, and it's sad to see a fellow classmate go. That's the way life is though, some people take stress differently. There's likely nothing you could've done, and even if there was, it's too late now. So don't beat yourself up over it.
 
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My condolences to everyone in this class. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for everyone to continue with business as usual after such an event. Please try to have a low threshold for getting help/finding someone to talk to if you find yourself having trouble coping. Sometimes things like this affect people more than they realize at first, and the best thing everyone can do is be self-aware. I'd certainly be more than willing to chat with anyone as well, just shoot me a message.

Best wishes
 
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You couldn't have said/done anything to change what happened. Don't beat yourself up over it. :(
 

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I'm very sorry. :( Recently, one of my best friends' best fried committed suicide. While I did not know him well, he had come to my house a few days before and hung out with everyone. He seemed really nice, but looking back I can definitely believe something was going on: he was pretty withdrawn and didn't smile much. I figured at the time that he was just shy... While I wasn't close to him, it is strange to think that someone I talked to just a few days ago, could be suddenly gone. I can only imagine what you and your classmates are feeling, not to mention the student's friends and family. I have come close to loosing a family member before and have to say that loosing someone is among my biggest fears. You have my condolences. Don't hesitate to talk to anyone about it, it can be really easy to bottle up emotions of grief. I hope all goes well.
 

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What surprises me is that I can't even find an article on this. How are we supposed to address these problems if they are not even being properly reported? If not for this thread, probably none of us would know that this had happened. We really need more awareness if we are going to try and address these issues.
 

phospho

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What surprises me is that I can't even find an article on this. How are we supposed to address these problems if they are not even being properly reported? If not for this thread, probably none of us would know that this had happened. We really need more awareness if we are going to try and address these issues.

i was about to say the same thing!!!
i've googled everything I can think about... nothing...

I even looked at the OP's other posts to see which school s/he goes to, and I realized that it's baylor they are talking about...and i used that in google, and still, nothing....unbelievable:eek:
 

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What surprises me is that I can't even find an article on this. How are we supposed to address these problems if they are not even being properly reported? If not for this thread, probably none of us would know that this had happened. We really need more awareness if we are going to try and address these issues.

Why?... I get the feeling from some responses to this thread that the high stress and psychological consequences of it in med school are being suppressed. is that true?
 
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HappySlappy

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It WAS Baylor College of Medicine, I go to a Texas medical school and got an email about this earlier...
 
N

nsx

is it true that it's baylor's 2nd suicide?

Excelsius said:
We really need more awareness if we are going to try and address these issues.

My condolescences OP.

Given that Baylor had a huge awareness campaign following the most recent tragedy, maybe "suicide awareness" isn't the answer. Suicides that get a lot of attention might contribute to additional suicides, if you get my drift...Maybe it's better to honor the memory of the person and resources available for students, rather than the way events unfolded.
Thoughts?
 

OwnageMobile

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It WAS Baylor College of Medicine, I go to a Texas medical school and got an email about this earlier...

Wow. I figured it wasn't Baylor because one of my classmates just committed suicide (and I don't go to Baylor). How sad. Can't find anything on the net either.
 

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Yeah, we got an email on Friday last week from the dean notifying us about it and that we might have known him (for funeral precedings). I don't know why there's no news stories about it? It could be out of respect to the family is what I'm guessing? Oh, and I don't know if this is the second suicide either, this is just the first one I've heard about.
 

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My condolences. :( very sad indeed. And yes, nothing on the newswires that I could find.
 

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My condolescences OP.

Given that Baylor had a huge awareness campaign following the most recent tragedy, maybe "suicide awareness" isn't the answer. Suicides that get a lot of attention might contribute to additional suicides, if you get my drift...Maybe it's better to honor the memory of the person and resources available for students, rather than the way events unfolded.
Thoughts?

The theory followed in psychiatry is to always directly ask about suicidal thoughts/plans/attempts, because the prevailing belief is that asking about/discussing suicide with someone does not increase the risk that they will make an attempt.

Typically I think 'copycat' style suicides are less likely to be a depressed person who 'never thought about it' and more likely to be someone with some type of personality disorder who's trying to get a piece of that spotlight.
 
N

nsx

The theory followed in psychiatry is to always directly ask about suicidal thoughts/plans/attempts, because the prevailing belief is that asking about/discussing suicide with someone does not increase the risk that they will make an attempt.

Typically I think 'copycat' style suicides are less likely to be a depressed person who 'never thought about it' and more likely to be someone with some type of personality disorder who's trying to get a piece of that spotlight.

Interesting. thanks :)
 
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mjl1717

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Why?... I get the feeling from some responses to this thread that the high stress and psychological consequences of it in med school are being suppressed. is that true?

Somewhat true..

1) I think much of the naive public likes to think "the grass is greener on the other side" , disregarding the actual stress.

2) Also some students may not be compassionate about a fellow student venting.. Even if a good amount of medicine may be to listen to people vent..

:sleep:
 

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What surprises me is that I can't even find an article on this. How are we supposed to address these problems if they are not even being properly reported? If not for this thread, probably none of us would know that this had happened. We really need more awareness if we are going to try and address these issues.

I'm not the administration, but I can imagine that part of this is out of respect for the family.

Med students don't exist in a vacuum. This person had family and friends and they are having to deal with the aftermath of this tragedy.

There is no "cover-up". We are all shocked and saddened by this and are still grieving. I know that many of my classmates are hoping that we can have an open dialogue to discuss how we want to move forward and what we can do to prevent this in the future.
 
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Excelsius

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I'm not the administration, but I can imagine that part of this is out of respect for the family.

Med students don't exist in a vacuum. This person had family and friends and they are having to deal with the aftermath of this tragedy.

There is no "cover-up". We are all shocked and saddened by this and are still grieving. I know that many of my classmates are hoping that we can have an open dialogue to discuss how we want to move forward and what we can do to prevent this in the future.

Of course, if the family chose to keep this private, then it's understandable. However, from experience with families who have lost a loved one, it seems to me that the family almost always chooses to completely disclose everything just to save another child. This is especially true for soldier deaths in Iraq. The families sometimes create entire funds in their child's name not only to increase awareness, but also to use those funds to help other soldiers.

Another reason why I think these suicides should be revealed is so that public knows that doctors are just as human as anyone else. I don't think people appreciate enough the enormous stress it takes to become a doctor. I wonder if there are as many suicides among other professional schools like law and Ph.D. (even though there are more of these schools). So unless the family is against this, I think it is the obligation of the school to properly disclose the problems that it is having and make sure that the death of the student is not simply another statistic. If I had a child who died in any school, I would run a storm through that school, after the initial grief. Maybe we'll still hear about this.
 

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Of course, if the family chose to keep this private, then it's understandable. However, from experience with families who have lost a loved one, it seems to me that the family almost always chooses to completely disclose everything just to save another child. This is especially true for soldier deaths in Iraq. The families sometimes create entire funds in their child's name not only to increase awareness, but also to use those funds to help other soldiers.

Another reason why I think these suicides should be revealed is so that public knows that doctors are just as human as anyone else. I don't think people appreciate enough the enormous stress it takes to become a doctor. I wonder if there are as many suicides among other professional schools like law and Ph.D. (even though there are more of these schools). So unless the family is against this, I think it is the obligation of the school to properly disclose the problems that it is having and make sure that the death of the student is not simply another statistic. If I had a child who died in any school, I would run a storm through that school, after the initial grief. Maybe we'll still hear about this.

I agree, but I don't think that the family is ready to give the go ahead. It hasn't even been a week yet.

It's probably even harder now that we're nearing the holidays.
 
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phospho

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Of course, if the family chose to keep this private, then it's understandable. However, from experience with families who have lost a loved one, it seems to me that the family almost always chooses to completely disclose everything just to save another child. This is especially true for soldier deaths in Iraq. The families sometimes create entire funds in their child's name not only to increase awareness, but also to use those funds to help other soldiers.

Another reason why I think these suicides should be revealed is so that public knows that doctors are just as human as anyone else. I don't think people appreciate enough the enormous stress it takes to become a doctor. I wonder if there are as many suicides among other professional schools like law and Ph.D. (even though there are more of these schools). So unless the family is against this, I think it is the obligation of the school to properly disclose the problems that it is having and make sure that the death of the student is not simply another statistic. If I had a child who died in any school, I would run a storm through that school, after the initial grief. Maybe we'll still hear about this.

I completely agree with you. I'm still shocked that there have been two medical student suicides in two different schools recently (Baylor and KU), and there is absolutely no media coverage at all. Also, it seems that this is the 2nd suicide Baylor has had (which I also couldn't find anything on by the way). At first I was thinking the families might be trying to keep this private, but now I'm starting to think that the schools are trying to hide something from the pubilc.

When I was looking for an article about these suicides, one of the first articles that popped up was about a med student who committed suicide in INDIA. I'm not saying that an Indian life is worth less in any way - I'm just saying that you would think that a more technologically advanced country like ourselves would spread this out to the public faster, simply for the sake of awareness.

As a side note, the second article that popped up on google was about a teenager who popped pills in front of a webcam and killed himself. I'm not saying his life is worth less than that of a med student, but still, you would think that for the sake of public awareness, someone would at least "consider" mentioning those few med students who killed themselves.
 

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I completely agree with you. I'm still shocked that there have been two medical student suicides in two different schools recently (Baylor and KU), and there is absolutely no media coverage at all. Also, it seems that this is the 2nd suicide Baylor has had (which I also couldn't find anything on by the way). At first I was thinking the families might be trying to keep this private, but now I'm starting to think that the schools are trying to hide something from the pubilc.

I disagree. I think it seems very cut and dried from the outside, but I can tell you that my class is still feeling the loss immensely. Even those of us that didn't know our classmate very well still are in shock and don't know quite how to respond. We want to have some sort of a memorial, but are waiting to hear from the family as to what exactly they would like us to do.

I know that the administration is planning on making changes and is looking to us for input on what can be done to prevent this from happening again. I really think that it is important for the school to respect the family's wishes, especially considering that our classmate had a brother who is a current M2 here.

I also don't know how productive isolated news articles about X medical student committing suicide would be. Look at all the links that another poster above provided. Was any additional attention attracted nationally as a result of these? What really needs to happen is a more widespread publicized study by the AMA,etc about stress and incidence of suicide amongst medical students.
 
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janedoe4

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I also don't know how productive isolated news articles about X medical student committing suicide would be. Look at all the links that another poster above provided. Was any additional attention attracted nationally as a result of these? What really needs to happen is a more widespread publicized study by the AMA,etc about stress and incidence of suicide amongst medical students.

I think this is right. Covering suicides is a sticky area for journalistic ethics and public health, and reporting on it in certain ways can contribute to "suicide contagion." (some links: CDC, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention).

While I agree that the OP and his/her classmates aren't responsible for their classmate's suicide, the idea that suicide is unpreventable can be dangerous. Addressing risk factors like mental illness or substance abuse can reduce suicide risk, and having appropriate and accessible crisis resources can help people who are near but not at the "point of no return" in harming themselves turn back. The idea that "suicidal people are going to do it anyway," seems to suggest we throw up our hands and not bother with those sorts of interventions. They are worthwhile and probably do prevent some suicides, it's just that (like so many things in medicine), when you get down to the individual case it's impossible to tell what, if anything, would have made *that specific situation* turn out differently. And therefore impossible (or at least really hard) to assign blame to anyone in particular for not preventing that individual case.

My condolences to the OP and his/her classmates.
 

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In my neck of the woods the results of stress during medical school is very much discussed. I'm at a Texas school who was also emailed, and it said there needs to be even more public discussion on how to better handle stress in medical school (same or different school as a previous poster, I am not sure). We are also constantly reminded of the need to seek help if needed and are provided with those resources. Many of my friends have talked to me about going to see the school psychiatrist for medication for anxiety or insomnia... it's pretty open. If anyone is extrodinarily surprised by the effects of stress in med school (of course we're all surprised and saddened, but if anyone has not even heard of this occuring) their med school needs to get in shape!

There has recently been an article covering suicidal ideation in medical school in the New York Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/31/h...ef=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin
 

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Depression at times leads to suicide and 15-25%+ of medical students are depressed compared with ~5-7% of their non-medical student peers; thus, we have a high rate of suicide in medical school. Medical students push themselves, sometimes too far for too long, to do well on exams, etc. Incoming medical students should be told that, even if it was never an issue for them before, just by being in medical school they are at a ~3x - 5x greater risk for depression and the accompanying misery plus risk of suicide. They should be told of the symptoms of depression to look for in themselves and their classmates ... that the risk of depression is real and depression can and does lead to misery and sometimes death. Nothing in the pursuit of a medical career is worth constant misery and risk of death, especially considering that depression can often be treated very effectively. There is still a certain amount of the old culture that medical students should just suck it up when it comes to the challenges of their training and push their way forward whether depressed or not ... a bit like telling a Type 1 diabetic that insulin is for sissies. This is disappearing as medical school deans recognize the irony of increased medical student misery and death in the pursuit of a career to promote health and reduce death.
 

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Depression at times leads to suicide and 15-25%+ of medical students are depressed compared with ~5-7% of their non-medical student peers; thus, we have a high rate of suicide in medical school. Medical students push themselves, sometimes too far for too long, to do well on exams, etc. Incoming medical students should be told that, even if it was never an issue for them before, just by being in medical school they are at a ~3x - 5x greater risk for depression and the accompanying misery plus risk of suicide. They should be told of the symptoms of depression to look for in themselves and their classmates ... that the risk of depression is real and depression can and does lead to misery and sometimes death. Nothing in the pursuit of a medical career is worth constant misery and risk of death, especially considering that depression can often be treated very effectively. There is still a certain amount of the old culture that medical students should just suck it up when it comes to the challenges of their training and push their way forward whether depressed or not ... a bit like telling a Type 1 diabetic that insulin is for sissies. This is disappearing as medical school deans recognize the irony of increased medical student misery and death in the pursuit of a career to promote health and reduce death.

So it appears that the data about this is out there. How has this not become a public issue?

You'd think AMSA, the AMA, or the AAMC would have taken a stance on this or brought attention to it.
 

janedoe4

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So it appears that the data about this is out there. How has this not become a public issue?

You'd think AMSA, the AMA, or the AAMC would have taken a stance on this or brought attention to it.

I suspect at least 2 factors are 1) the continued stigma around mental health issues (not wanting the profession to lose prestige) and 2) a lack of good ideas for how to help the medical student/trainee/physician population specifically. I personally haven't, but I've talked to people who have looked into the literature on med student depression in some depth and they say it pretty much all describes the problem but doesn't propose any solutions. And for every feature of medical training that someone points to as possibly contributing to the increased risk, there's a crowd somewhere who insists that feature is essential to producing good doctors and can't be changed.
 

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From a someone who has lost a friend to suicide, I'm so sorry about your loss. Whoever you guys are, I hope that your class grows together from this tragedy.
 

nVictus

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this is the second suicide ive read about in the past year at baylor. after the first one, if im not mistaken, baylor implemented a program where 1st years have to participated in some sort of mandatory program. not sure if the program is a dud or if its too early to tell. the time between the two incidents are too close to judge. i wonder what baylors next step is. jolie, do you have any news on that?
 

DoctorDreamer

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Yes, there was one at Baylor, and there was another one in January with the now 2nd year class. Unfortunately, these tragedies happened so close together, so it seems as though rumors are circulating that BCM is responsible, which is not the case. There had not been a suicide for 20 years previously before this January.

There is now a mandatory mentoring program in place, as well as peer resource networks.

Finally, there were major awareness campaigns at orientation and right after each suicide. The faculty and administration have been incredibly proactive, and any student who another student or faculty member expresses concern about is called in to speak with the administration, and some have even been sent to psychiatrists for evaluation before being allowed to continue at Baylor.

As a MS1 at Baylor, I can say that I am heartbroken, and am taking this very hard, but I also know that this particular student had been masking their pain very efficiently, and we as a class are not to blame, and we are only hurting ourselves if we continue to do so.
 

Jolie South

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this is the second suicide ive read about in the past year at baylor. after the first one, if im not mistaken, baylor implemented a program where 1st years have to participated in some sort of mandatory program. not sure if the program is a dud or if its too early to tell. the time between the two incidents are too close to judge. i wonder what baylors next step is. jolie, do you have any news on that?

I'm not sure that the school itself is to blame. There were two different programs put into place: a mentorship program and a peer resource network.

I think these are helping people, but there are some kinks to work out. The mentorship program and peer resource network, to this point, had not been mandatory. While I think it's great to get the chance to spend time discussing topics with a faculty member and upperclassmen, these activities are not required. Thus, the people that might need this contact the most probably are the ones that are not coming.

As much as people are going to hate me for saying this, I think it'd be good for people to come to class everyday. Just knowing that everyone is struggling with the same issues is comforting to me at least. The social interaction keeps me sane. It's probably really easy to feel lonely and to retreat into your own problems when you're studying at home and not making contact with reality regularly. We only have class from 8-12, so I really don't feel like this would hinder people's productivity all that much.
 
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