Cornell Confirms Suicides on Campus: Total Now at Six

March 22, 2010
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Adding to a scary and tragic trend, Cornell confirms suicides on the University’s campus, the two new cases bring the total this academic year to six. The two students that ended their lives recently have caused the university’s mental health initiatives director to declare a “public heath crisis.” Read the full story below, as well as video of the news on this event.

The university is well known for being a highly competitive and students at the school are often subjected to high levels of stress due to the nature of the program, but no one knows what is different this year.

David Skorton, president of the university since 2005, has been admonished since his arrival for his proactive nature in reaching students about this controversial issue. Furthermore, the school has received accolades in recent years by psychologists like Keith Anderson, chairman of the American College Health Association’s Mental Health Best Practices Task Force, for its comprehensive programs promoting understanding and prevention of the issue.

The school had no self-inflicted deaths from 2005 to 2008. As Cornell confirms suicides of two more students, the total of six is shocking and unexplained. Taking immediate action, Skorton sent an email Friday to all students at the school, and took out a full page advertisement every day in the past week reading:

“If you learn anything at Cornell, please learn to ask for help. It is a sign of wisdom and strength.”

Hopefully it’s a message that gets through. Guards have also been placed on the bridges most commonly used for the attempts, and student groups are gathering to preach the message of awareness throughout the campus and “strengthen the capacity of the community to know what to do.”

As Cornell confirms suicides of two more students, it makes me wonder if the university environment and structure places too much stress on maturing adults. What do you think of the issue? Does it worry you that a school with such a good awareness and support program could still have such a high rate of self-inflicted deaths?

For more information on the story, watch the video below!

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One Response to “Cornell Confirms Suicides on Campus: Total Now at Six”

  1. 1
    jane Says:

    I don’t know about the pressure at Cornell, but suicide is contagious. It’s a fact, albeit a very sad, haunting fact. As a sibling-survivor of suicide, it is a mind/life/everything-changing thing, in a way you can’t imagine. I am sad to hear of the deaths at Cornell, but reluctant to blame anyone or any institution.