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The Forest Hospital located in displaying the lanai presents the search for mental health and exploration of the newest advances in psychiatry during this series. Physicians and other professional personnel working in the area of mental health at Forest Hospital. A hundred bed treatment facility will discuss the latest advances in mental health care research and education. Such topics as alcoholism adolescent behavior marital problems problems of the aged suicide emotional problems and others will be presented on the search for mental health. Your host for this series is Mr. Morris Squire administrators of Forest Hospital. This is Dragon are doing a program of sorts for mental health sitting in for Mr. Morris squire who usually is your host. Our guest is Dr. Alford a
hasting who is a psychiatrist at Purdue University student health center and West Lafayette Indiana. Doctor Hey Steve let's talk about what you're doing with students and the problems that students have. One of the problems are college students have been trying to avoid the draft is this a problem that certainly forms a part of our recent group of students that come in. I would say that most of the students that come in come in with the symptoms of either depression or anxiety. And usually the precipitating factor that brings them in is difficulty with their studies or a difficulty with a girl or a boyfriend. It seems to be that this is the age group that's learning how to deal with the opposite sex. I mean that they have eaten at during college time or what freshman or sophomore that one of the
basic problems has been able to get along with the opposite sex in what way. Well in the work with college students you discover that college students don't come to college only to learn and only to get a bachelor's degree. The majority of them also are there. Hopefully they'll find a wife who's also a college graduate or other gal find a husband who's going to be a professional or some such education. And in their process of dating they will become involved possibly in some. Love Affair that. Is far deeper than the intimacy they've experienced at home and they don't know quite how to deal with this. So they come in. What do I do next.
Already they may get involved and then he finds another fellow. And this is the time when Lee mostly see them is when there's been a split up or some difficulty or some fight where there's a third party involved in the two who have been going together for some time are in the process of splitting up. You say that study dating at the age of 10 or 12 which is when they start to date on a steady basis leads to problems like this when you get older. Now it's something I haven't really thought about too much. However on our campus there certainly is a lot of pressure among the fraternities and sororities to be pinned and sometimes this is one of the things that. We run into the individual really would kind of like to date around. But the pressure upon them is to
have one fellow or one gal and so they have to kind of abide by what the cult hero tells them to do and then they move along and they're getting. To the point where they're falling in love and they're ready for marriage and they've got two years to go to finish college and they don't know what to do now because they really came there to get a college education they also came there with a secondary goal of obtaining a husband or wife. And now they find that they've achieved one goal two years before they're ready to achieve the other. And this kind of thing is sometimes solved by going ahead and getting married and sometimes the parents support them sometimes they try to do it on their own. But these are the kind of problems that you run into I I'm not sure that it has anything to do with the kind of dating that goes on early. I kind of think it has something to do with the fact that.
We physiologically can be a father or a mother. Probably by the age of 13 or 14 and our culture dictates that you don't get married till you've finished college and you're 21 years old. So obviously the individual has to prolong his adolescence sometimes till the age of 25. And I'm not sure this is quite fair to the individual but I don't know any way out of it. Well what what how do you help a student who comes here with a problem like this. How do you iron out a difficulty of this nature I mean that's of one question I give you a compound question and let you go you find more problems of this nature with girls than with boys or it's Or is it equal. It's about equal there are actually more girls who come in with this problem than follows. But
the way I deal with the problem is primarily to be an interested listener. Substitute father if you please someone who cares who will listen. Recognize that it is a problem not to the idea that it doesn't amount to a hill of beans. And then try to clarify and usually what I end up clarifying with them is do you really love the guy to really want to marry him or you know are you really trying to get out of this deal made maybe you really think you love him and don't really want to get out of it and as we clarify we usually arrive at some kind of a conclusion that helps them to know what they really feel and if they know what they really feel they seem to know then what to do. Do you always talk about mainly freshman and sophomores or does go away after. Already I wonder at your school. Do they really know what love is or is
just physical on their part. Well now this is an interesting phenomenon and the individuals who in an interview or two can't seem to make up their minds exactly really how they feel towards an individual are often individuals who don't know what love is. And this may lead into a rather lengthy period of time trying to find out where they learned about what what kind of a family situation they grew up in and helping them to learn exactly what makes up love. What do you do when you have a feeling towards a wife when it runs for 20 or 30 or 50 years. So you have to engage and find out about what they're really. Basically what they're really thoughts are in this matter is this. Basically this go back to A. Poor understanding as far as the parents giving towards their children as far
as love and family and all this is this work stems from. Yes it seems to stem from that. I notice one of the phenomenon that occurs is that the students who come to my office for one or two visits and the problems clarified and they don't come back are often the kind of children who find that there's complete freedom of the use of the telephone. They can pick up the phone anytime they like and call mom or dad and clarify with them anything that they want to talk to mom or dad about. However the ones who end up in my office for longer periods of time are sometimes the kind who are limited in this area and the communication between them and Mom and Dad has somehow deteriorated in some level not necessarily meaning that it's never been good but maybe there's something that's made it not so good. And one of the
one of the Real nice things to do sometimes is to get a guy that's cute and you know he's too. He's so panic stricken You would think about admitting to the hospital. And you bring mom and dad down for the weekend and you talk to the three of them together and the problems gone by Monday. This is real rewarding. What could have been done earlier. Why did I wait till college to solve a problem of this nature or has it not cropped up before obviously it has cropped up before but possibly not to the severity. Also this isn't the first time maybe they've been that far away and had a similar problem. Is there that particular problem of adjustment coming from a living within the family environment going to high school within your own area and going away and going out of the state is a big emotional and psychological adjustment for the student. It certainly is. I think I find this probably the the
biggest thing that they have to adjust to and. Often the graduate student that I get is the graduate student who went to college in his own hometown and this is really his first time away from his the idea of of the fact that one of the problems might be the fact that you're on your own now and you have to think for yourself and you can't go to mom and papa for advice and for help with exception a phone which you display engine to pick up a phone call. But is this the thing that I didn't going to school I don't recall any my my my classmates were little and will defend this area but we didn't seem to do that in the phases unless there are other students who are more independent by nature and more free by nature is this possible. Well you see here we're getting into an area where my bias has to end because Go right ahead. The bias that I'm limited by is the fact that
I see students with problems and I don't see the 90 percent of the students who don't have problems. So I really don't know whether there's a change from 20 years ago or 40 years ago to today. Because what I saw 20 years ago or 40 years ago hopefully was somewhere within the normal range whereas now what I'm seeing is is that people who have problems and this then gives me a biased sample. So I don't know whether they had this problem 40 years ago. Somehow I suspect they did. There was no help for them 40 years ago. Well you see there's a little different kind of a help of vailable maybe then. I'm not sure whether you went to a large university or not but certainly there are more college students going to college now than there ever were trained of necessity.
The proportion between teachers and students has changed the personal relationship between a student and his professor is not found like it used to be when you left college 40 years ago. Most of them knew each one of their professors fairly intimately they became lifelong friends fellows leaving college today may not meet one professor that is a friend for life. And it seems to me that possibly this is part of the reason for the need of us like I have trust. Because you feel this is a problem like the colleges are becoming or universities becoming too large and this feeling of individuality between teacher and I and the student is lost and gone by the boards. I think it definitely is a problem. For example at Purdue
University we seemed to see fewer proportionately of our agricultural students than we do of the sciences the humanities the engineering schools. Now all the rest of the schools the number of students coming to us is pretty proportionate. Your immediate reaction might be well farmers come from the law and then you don't have problems you know. But I haven't really examined this except to talk to a few of the professors in that area. And the one thing I can tell you is that this is the one school where money has been available to maintain a good ratio of. Student two professors and also there is a great deal of emphasis on counseling so that there does become a personal relationship in that school and I suspect
a lot of the students get the help that they might get from us in other ways. That's an interesting point I know this is also true. This individuality also true in the College of Veterinary Medicine. They have the same type of I said a bison as you were mentioning and in the schools of agriculture I think this is really a good a very healthy thing. We should be more of this. Now let's take up some examples of the major problems that you confront as a psychiatrist in this counseling I you mentioned one of them of course the love business is the biggest problem or are there other problems were kids are sort of suicidal for other reasons and the fact that they've been jolted. I would say that that was probably number line and number two it is the obvious one difficulty with grades or difficulty with with your schoolwork in some way or another and of course this has many RAF ramifications it might be that they.
Have a simple problem like they can't get along with one particular teacher or two particular teachers. And this is one of the things that you can clarify quite readily and wanted to our's you so you can see that that their difficulty is is limited to one or two classes and you begin to look at those one of two classes and discover that maybe the fellow that is teaching him chemistry is a spitting image of his father. And he never quite got along with his father the way he would like to. And when he had some difficulty with chemistry didn't have enough nerve to go up and talk to this guy. And so somehow you instill in him that that teacher is probably just as human as anybody else he is approachable. He does approach him he overcomes the little problem that happens to be limiting his skill and chemistry at that point and he goes off the run
and he's fine again. Already you may run into another situation where he's chosen a particular field of endeavor. And that he isn't the best skilled at. And so you find out that he's flunking the courses of his major and what he really ought to do is switch majors or you may find that his mother or father has forced him into a major that he doesn't really want and his only way to get back at them is to flunk out and so he was obviously behaving in a way in that he's not aware of and that is that he doesn't like to schoolies and as we point this out to him sometimes he decides well it's worth it to obey my father and be what he wants me to be sometimes they decide I want to do what I want to do and either solution seems to work as long as you clarify the cause of the problem or the same idea the fact that I might have been.
Told to go to a certain university or college with the song was definitely problems. We find that one of the key questions is Why did you come to Purdue. And what happens when when you answer that question. If somebody is has it of course if it a problem so often it's because mom's that because that said so. I've had reasons like I just never heard of another university and this was the only one I knew about was the closest to home for a number of reasons but usually they haven't picked Purdue because they want to go to Purdue. They just pick Purdue I thought offhand. They want to go to college and this is the one they picked. This brings up an interesting point do students today. Lord knows they're more vocal today or at least the sidemen am I supposed to be the lead
vocal 60s but is it true that some students today as when I went to school. I don't know why they're going to colleges going to college for the sake that their neighbor is going to college or don't really sit down and analyze the University the college which would be best for them or they want to go into journalism or they want to go into engineering or whatever it might be you find out this is a still prevalent day that students really don't know what educational area they would like to follow the kind of thing that might be an answer to that is that I notice a lot of what I call college dropouts that are a little different kind of a dropout than they used to be. And it seems to me that when I went to college if a fellow wanted to quit college. Nowadays you can't quit. That's right you have to flunk out. That is right.
Yeah. And another thing that we do it we do which is it appears to be very kind is that you can go for three semesters flunking out before you really get kicked out so that they're very kind in allowing a person to make up time to make up his mind. Really what he wants to do. I don't know whether Mimi do him a service or a dis service in this area but it seems to me that it's probably a part of the greater problem in that 50 percent of the students who are college age are going to college now and could maybe get a college education has been oversold. You just everybody it's the thing the thing to do is go to college now and so a lot of people are going to college. You asked an earlier question I dealt with a fellow specifically quit his job and went
back to college just stay out of the Army and he admitted that's what he was doing. And when I quire applied to him that this is the reason he's locking out is because he really doesn't want to go. He dropped out willingly. You find more students like this going to college than right now because of the draft as Burma Vietnam. Because I want to beat the draft of course they're coming up with a new draft system. Possibly but as it stands now I want to get into college and of course you don't have any good grades in high school or going to college the first place you can't pass an entrance exam you know. Well I will say that of the students I've seen recently there are two who admit quite frankly that the only reason they're in college. Quite frankly that's the reason they're there I suspect there's a lot that don't admit it. There's a lot they don't even know that that's part of the reason they're going. You think this underlying fear of the draft today is pushing a
lot of the young men into this war I think is an unhealthy ad who really you have to go to college where I young man might be just as good to going to a trade school and learning a trade which would be better form in the long run. He doesn't have the Miami the the attitude for the financing the ability but the attitude for college you find this is an underlying cons to my reaction is that the way I remember kids going to college. 20 30 40 years ago. Is that there was something attractive about the Navy in the Army and Air Force. And I see so little of this kind of thing among the students I see nowadays. There isn't the kid growing up who's always wanted to be a Navy man. He's always wanted to be an army man there are a few of them and they don't. Almost everybody had this kind of a thing at
one time. Boy that would be a thrill just to be in the service and see the world and all this kind of thing. You just don't see kids with this kind of thing anymore and and I don't know. So exactly what the explanation is a lack of patriotism. The fact of the demonstrations and all listen don't go and get involved in the pacifist IDM philosophy which is. Permeating our society today you think this is pushed in the college student this way. That's a good question I don't know. I'm not sure when I have the answer. There's there's a lot of speculation you could say it's because of Vietnam. You could say it's a lack of patriotism. I'm I'm not sure what one big factor might not be that the fathers of these boys were who were in World War Two. And. In my own experience I have two Sens who also don't
want to go into the service man who dies. Yeah I really knew that going to the doctor I want to thank you very much it's been a most enlightening and interesting program. Our guest has been Dr. Alford Hastie who is a psychiatrist at Purdue University Student Health Center in West Lafayette Indiana. And this is Jack programmer sitting in for Mark Squire for the search for mental health. You have just heard another in this series the search for a mental health produced by Forest Hospital in this plains Illinois in cooperation with this station. During this series physicians and other professional personnel working in the area of mental health at Forest Hospital a hundred bed treatment facility will discuss the latest advances in mental health care research and education. Other topics such as alcoholism adolescent behavior marital problems problems of the aged and others will be presented on the search for mental health.
Search for mental health
Student problems
Producing Organization
University of Chicago
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program features an interview with Dr. Alfred Heaste about student problems.
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A series of talks about the latest advances in psychiatry by staff members of Forest Hospital near Chicago.
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Host: Ridenour, Jack
Interviewee: Heaste, Alfred
Producing Organization: University of Chicago
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-5-13 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:24:58
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Chicago: “Search for mental health; Student problems,” 1968-03-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 11, 2022,
MLA: “Search for mental health; Student problems.” 1968-03-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. August 11, 2022. <>.
APA: Search for mental health; Student problems. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from