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Review: "After Suicides, MIT Works To Relieve Student Pressure" – NPR

Read/listen to the story from NPR. This is a very interesting article and covers a lot of areas that are preventable and addressable.

As an attending taught me in residency, there are people out there who self-harm (cutting, burning, picking, etc.) as a means of coping with stress. I later extrapolated that idea to suicide as well: suicide is a coping skill. It's just the worst coping skill. Ever.

Why do people want to kill themselves? There are an infinite number of reasons, but the idea I would put forth is a) you feel hopeless, and b) you don't see any other options. Hope is an important part of the surviving and thriving in the human condition. But it takes part B – feeling you have "no options" – before ir really becomes suicide territory.

America, the land of opportunity, has options woven into its social tapestry. That's why when depressed and suicidal people don't see any options at all, it's dangerous territory. And thus, they end up using the worst coping skill at their disposal.

I think the P.S.Y.C.H. system would allow for this and other theories to be freely debated in the public realm because we would be able to treat mental health as openly as we do diabetes or heart disease. P.S.Y.C.H. eliminates stigma because treating mental health becomes a social norm.

In the interim, we can continue to Band-Aid this heartbreaking phenomenon by being reactive. Or we can step up, grab the bull by the horns, and create an accessible and open health care system.

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