Franklin James Cook

Student’s Letter Tells of Overcoming Stigma to Get Help

In Postvention, Prevention, Stigma on November 25, 2008 at 12:14 pm

ORIGINAL LETTER — In a letter in The Harbus, Harvard University Business School’s weekly campus publication, a student shares a first-person story of being stricken with depression and getting help after “I almost took my life three times during my first year at HBS.”

I would spend class periods thinking of how to kill myself, and how that was the real answer to all of my problems. I skipped class just because I didn’t want to get out of bed. I went to the bridge two more times. I wasn’t scared anymore. I was ready to die and I didn’t care.

The student also writes about overcoming stigma to get help from the school’s psychiatrist:

I felt like a complete failure for going to see Dr. Kadison. But he helped me realize that I wasn’t. Every year the staff of the Mental Health Services department sees about 140 HBS students. That’s about 1 out of every 11 people … Not to mention the fact that there are many HBS students who go see outside providers without ever going through University Health Services.

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