An Examination of Suicide and Mental Health at the University of Pennsylvania and College Campuses across the United States

Listen 00:48:44

Guests: Lauren Feiner, Lowell Neumann Nickey, Kelly Posner Gerstenhaber, and Ed Modica

On Monday, a University of Pennsylvania student passed away from what was deemed a suicide. This marks the eleventh death by suicide of a Penn student in the past three years. Today on Radio Times, we’ll examine the issue of suicide among college students, check in with two students at the University of Pennsylvania, and discuss what is being done to address this public health issue. We’ll hear from LAUREN FEINER, the editor-in-chief of the Daily Pennsylvanian, about how students are feeling at Penn and how their paper has covered the issue. We’ll also hear from LOWELL NEUMANN NICKEY, a senior at the University of Pennsylvania, who has convinced two friends not to take their own lives. For a national perspective we’ll be joined by KELLY POSNER GERSTENHABER, the founder and Principal Investigator of the Center for Suicide Risk Assessment at Columbia University. There are also legislative efforts to help college students. To talk about legislation that’s being considered in New Jersey we’ll talk with ED MODICA, a former teacher of Madison Holleran, a University of Pennsylvania student who died by suicide in 2014. He helped write the Madison Holleran Suicide Prevention Act, which would require mental health professionals be available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, to help students who attend college in New Jersey.

Note: If you need information about suicide, including prevention, you can visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s website. If you, or someone you know, is in crisis they can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text Crisis Text Line (text START to 741-741).

Photo: jazbeck

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal