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Doctor tell me why are so many college students committing suicide. Because answering questions about your health is an important part of your doctor's services. The Minnesota State Medical Association presents doctor tell me here to ask the doctor your questions. Is Janice Hughes dead. Today your health questions will be answered by Dr. George Williams a psychiatrist from St. Paul. Dr. Williams Not so long ago on a feature syndicated article entitled Why are so many college students killing themselves appeared in local newspapers. What is your answer to that question. Well campus suicides Janice seem to cluster at college at colleges with high academic competitions with the terrific and I think very unhealthy kind of competition for college and for higher education in general today. We find that the rate of suicide is increased in those
institutions in which there has been one extreme difficulty in getting and or the terrible tension and anxiety associated with not getting in. And then once the student arrives at college and finds himself in the terrifically competitive atmosphere his old fears and his old anxieties and tensions about himself may well lead to becoming depressed and eventually becoming suicidal. Now you see one of the problems is that many students who have done extremely well let's say in high school and been valedictorian or salutatorian go to one of these highly complex. But I'm a competitive institutions and there are not no longer number one and they may find themselves running well back of the leaders in the group. This is a new experience for them. It's something which they have never faced before in their life and the guilt and the shame connected with it is frequently too much for them to
be able to handle. Is it usually usually then in this situation the student who's having trouble academically rather than the student who seems to have it made. Not necessarily for we have seen this kind of reaction even in students who in our opinion were doing extremely well in school. So I think that what we are dealing with basically is the students concept of himself. In the competitive situation in which he is now engaged. It's amazing to think of that suicidal rate as the second leading cause of death among college students. What are some reasons for this statistic. Well I think the reasons are multiple and varied but I think probably the greatest single problem that the these patients are unable are these individuals are unable to face is this feeling of competition of being away from home being separated from
the security of their home whatever that might mean to this particular student and a host of other feelings connected with the changes that are going on in this person's personality as they are starting in this rather painful process of growing up at this level. Why is it that not all of the students who have a horrendous problems turn to suicide and and some of them do is it a characteristic about this type of student. Well I think the answer to your question lies in the basic psychological make up of the individual himself. For example if everyone who thought about suicide. Went ahead and did it. They're proud of that. Probably be very few people left in the world. So for some people this may well be a new and very frightening thought. For others they say this
is a solution which I cannot accept. Thank you very much stuck to the Minnesota State Medical Association has presented doctor tell me recorded in the studios of KUNM at the University of Minnesota. Janice who is dead has asked the doctor your questions if you have any additional questions. Write to Dr. tell me. Minnesota State Medical Association Three seventy five Jackson St.. St. Paul Minnesota 5 5 1 0 0 1. This program was distributed by the national educational radio network.
Doctor tell me
College students and suicide
Producing Organization
University of Minnesota
KUOM (Radio station : Minneapolis, Minn.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Program number 343 asks why so many college students are committing suicide.
Series Description
Weekly interviews with a Minneapolis-St. Paul area doctor about a current medical issue.
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Interviewee: Williams, George
Interviewer: Husted, Janice
Producing Organization: University of Minnesota
Producing Organization: KUOM (Radio station : Minneapolis, Minn.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 61-35e-343 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:04:51
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Chicago: “Doctor tell me; College students and suicide,” 1969-04-08, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 27, 2024,
MLA: “Doctor tell me; College students and suicide.” 1969-04-08. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 27, 2024. <>.
APA: Doctor tell me; College students and suicide. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from