Dearest Professor:

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A note to a professor about my suicide... and my friend who just made public her "attempt".

Please understand where I’m coming from.

 

I’m not frustrated with YOU, necessarily…

I’m frustrated with reality.

 

Reality is many of the high-achieving, perfectionist-type students you teach are the target population of your research on suicide and self harm.

Reality is many of the students you teach feel that no matter how much effort they put into it, they can never measure up.

Reality is many of the students you teach may not even realize that they need help… until it is far too late…

 

 

Reality is a fellow student tried to kill herself tonight.

Reality is that I never saw it coming.

Reality is that she is a bold, beautiful person that brightens my world.

Reality is that I’m scared that she won’t seek the treatment she needs.

Reality is that even if she tries, based on my personal struggles with the system, she may not get proper help… which is incredibly frustrating in itself.

 

Reality is CRUEL.

 

 

In an ideal world, we would not be in this place.

People who need help would easily get it.

Never would death look like a better alternative to anything life can bring.

 

 

We don’t live in an ideal world.

We live and breathe in this cruel reality.

 

 

So, it’s time for a wake-up call.

 

 

Things need to change… NOW.

 

 

The more time that is wasted,

the more pain others endure,

the more hopelessness becomes paralyzing and all-consuming,

the more likely it is that someone will be driven into a state of suicidal ideation

and act on it.

 

 

I am a person with patience that is practically endless, but that patience is up.

I don’t have the patience for unnecessary pain,

and the pain that our intense academic environment is creating in our student body,

the immense pressure to achieve perfection in every which way

is KILLING US.

 

 

My frustration is with that if I cannot help YOU understand that… then who will?

 

 

Who will be the voice to fight the shadows,

to right the wrongs,

to address the concerns,

to change the sickening environment,

to alter the manner in which mental health is perceived?

 

So, next time I ask for help, it is not for ME.

It is for US, for ALL OF US.

HELP US, please.

 

Have a lovely week,

AB

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