Saturday, April 3, 2010


Who reads PostSecret?? Well, if you don't you really should. The secrets are fascinating and really make me feel like I am not alone in so much of what I feel and so much of the things I keep secret from people.

Anyway, I am just writing this quick thing because a) I am tired and want to go to bed and b) I wanted to copy this off of the PostSecret website before the secrets change tomorrow.

Earlier this school year a boy from my university killed himself. I didn't know him, nor did I know anybody who knew him super well, but that doesn't change that it happened. In my media classes, mostly my ethics class, we discussed the ethically proper way to cover suicide and deaths in the media.

The high rate of college student suicides is really scary. Maybe we shouldn't cover specifics of each death alone, but we should be more aware of the pressures that students have in their daily lives, and be more in tune with the fact that more people than we think are hurting and may need more support from friends, family, or even trained professionals.

Thank you, PostSecret, for making the world aware of all the different hotlines, outlets, and resources available to those who feel alone and may need a little more help than others.

((Letter from the PostSecret website))


Dear Frank

I thought about sending a postcard but wanted to share a story without anonymity. I'm a senior at Cornell University and at your PostSecret Event here two years ago, I shared the following secret: "My main motivation for applying to the PhD program in Clinical Psychology was to honor the memory of my three cousins who took their lives by acquiring the training to help alleviate the despair of others."

Recently I received an offer of admission to the USUHS in Bethesda, Maryland where I will be joining the Suicide Behavior and Prevention Laboratory. As soon as I received that offer, I remembered the secret I shared with the audience that night and how deeply meaningful it will be to follow through.

It makes me smile to know I'll be moving so close to where all the secrets are sent and being only a few miles away from someone breaking down barriers in the mental health field in a way science has yet to discover.


I still have good memories of the Cornell PostSecret Event in 2008. And being a basketball fan I enjoyed watching Cornell's team go deep in the NCAAs last week. But I've also been distressed to see the lopsided media coverage of student basketball compared to the half dozen student suicides at Cornell this year.

According to Yahoo, 7,573 news stories were written about Cornell Basketball in the past 30 days. During that same period, only 275 stories were written about the six Cornell students who took their own lives.

Suicide is a secret that we collectively keep from ourselves. But if we can find the courage to tell the painful stories, together, we can take the actions that will bring help and hope to those of us who suffer in silence.

This year over 1,000 college students will kill themselves. March is the month with the highest rate of suicides. Here are five ways you can fight back today.

1. Support the Pick-Up-The-Phone 30-City Tour with headliner Blue October.

2. Tell your story (or your friend's story) and learn how Active Minds can help you fight suicide at your school.

3. Join Congressman Kennedy, HopeLine founder Reese Butler, Jamie Tworkowski and myself in Washington DC, April 12th, for the 6th Annual National HopeLine Network Capital Hill Press Conference.


Twila said...

Wow!! I have never heard of the Cornell suicides but one just occurred last week in our city. I love POst Secret as well. I love that it is artistic and helping others in great ways!


Rachel said...

i LOVE post secret! it is part of my sunday routine to check it in the morning along with my e-mail, facebook, and blog.

One problem on the issue of suicides is that many people don't know how common it is for the simple reason that it is not typically reported on (one reason being because of ethics codes for news companies). We should really find a way to help those people who are under so much stress, maybe some education on the subject would be helpful. So many people think they are depressed and alone and that they are the only people who feel that way, they are wrong.

Thanks for checking out my blog :)

JMay said...

Post Secret is so awesome and you're so right about how much you can relate to them, such a fantastic idea.