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Old 01-05-2008, 06:54 AM   #1
Alffe
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Cornell University has made the controversial decision that a human life is worth more than strict privacy rules. As a result, it has cut its suicide rate amongst students in half in the past 6 years (as compared to the previous 6 years when this policy wasn’t in place).

At the same time while undergraduate enrollment at Cornell has declined during most of the 2000’s, visits to the school’s counseling center have nearly doubled, from just over 11,000 in 2000 to nearly 20,000 in 2007. This may also help account for the reduction in the suicide rate.

Students are making more use of the counseling services available to them, and staff at Cornell are keeping a closer eye on students who seem to experiencing extreme emotional difficulties:

After years in which many colleges have said privacy rules prevent them from interceding with troubled students, Cornell is taking the opposite tack.

Its “alert team” of administrators, campus police and counselors meets weekly to compare notes on signs of student emotional problems. People across campus, from librarians to handymen, are trained to recognize potentially dangerous behavior. And starting this year, Cornell is taking advantage of a rarely used legal exception to student-privacy rights: It is assuming students are dependents of their parents, allowing the school to inform parents of concerns without students’ permission.

While I am somewhat conflicted about this policy, I applaud Cornell University and its counseling staff for erring on the side of safety rather than privacy. It’s hard to argue with solid data and results illustrating that as people become more educated about mental health and emotional warning signs, they can try and reach out to troubled students before it’s too late.

Young adulthood is a special time within our emotional and social development. We take the personalities we’ve been building in high school and in close-knit social circles and expand upon them in more serious friendships and relationships. It can be a very emotionally-trying time for many. And because as young adults, we may not yet have an arsenal of reliable, useful coping skills, a person may be taxed beyond their emotional means.

Cornell is taking the informed, networked, information-sharing-is-best approach that can best monitor students’ emotional health needs, without being truly intrusive. They ask more questions about a student’s mental health status even at regular health exams, and keep on the lookout for students that seem to be experiencing especially difficult times. It’s an approach that, while not perfect, I hope many other schools choose to follow as they reassess their mental health strategies in the wake of last year’s Virginia Tech massacre.

The Wall Street Journal has the full article, Bucking Privacy Concerns, Cornell Acts as Watchdog.
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Old 01-05-2008, 03:13 PM   #2
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Thank you ((Alffe)).

Our campus' suicides have dropped some. Counselors, professors, everyone tries to help these young students under pressure. During my 22 years here, I've always tried to give a kind word to a student who is openly distressed. It's amazing the number I have seen just sitting alone somewhere, trying to stifle sobs. I'll stop and talk with them and try to coax them to talk about it and direct them to the best places for help. And have gotten a lot of smiles and some hugs in return.

I had an interesting professor when I went to university in my early 30s. He was a quirk of a guy who taught Nonverbal Communication, my favorite class of all. His opinion was that that when freshman came to college, they should be instructed to go out in the world and experience it for the first year, live life, and then come back ready for school, lol. So many aren't completely prepared for student life, being away from home, all of the pressures of being out on their own.

Anyway, I'm rambling. Thank you for sharing dear heart.
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Old 01-05-2008, 04:10 PM   #3
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I agree with you Doody. It was a major transition for my nephew his first year away at college, especially coming from a sheltered environment with strict rules at home. It was his first taste of real "freedom." Learning to socialize and get along on his own was his biggest concern, and his grades suffered.

I'm particularly concerned about kids who have been home-schooled. Seems to me sending a home-schooled kid away to college would be similar to tossing them into a lion's den without a spear.

I have a friend who teaches high school math on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. Last year, seven students from the graduating class committed suicide. I doubt there's a large graduating class, so I'm sure the impact on the surviving students and teachers was tremendous. I know it breaks my friend's heart to lose his students. What makes it worse is there is no money to provide programs to help these surviving students.
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Old 01-05-2008, 04:16 PM   #4
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It is heartbreaking and the statistics are rising. Did you see this clock?

http://www.poodwaddle.com/worldclock.swf

Scary stuff!
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Old 01-05-2008, 09:09 PM   #5
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Lightbulb did you read this alfee?

not being able to find the clock? or where the information you quoted came from -
I did abit of research -
is this where you found the info dear Alfeee
http://online.wsj.com/public/article....html?mod=blog
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Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant with the weak and the wrong. Sometime in your life you will have been all of these.
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:58 AM   #6
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Thank you Tena for the complete Wall Street Journal article..I took it from Doc Johns' signature...pretty neat! The clock was sent to me by my bil.

My more of this please title is in the hope that schools, starting with elementary schools, will take a much more active role in "listening and watching" for the signs of depression.
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:05 PM   #7
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Boy, that clock thing is kinda scary to watch!!! But SO interesting! Thanks Ms. Alffe!
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Old 01-09-2008, 06:13 PM   #8
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In October 07, i attended a 'Young peoples consultation meeting on , services at hand for young people' [uk]

Today i went to the follow up on that meeting.

It really sadens me when people in authority and in possession of funds to alter life, Blatantly steal ideas , implement them , yet dont do it in the veien/heart that it was intended.

Three years ago i developed a 'Life skills course' Where i work... which encompased an array of skills , that Homeless people might require.

Budgeting/dealing with debt...past arrears / cooking on a budget/ healthy eating, nutrition and dietry advice.. Holding down a tennancy... good neighbour skills..plus an assortment of personal development lessons... ie.. anger management.. assertiveness training.. life coaching.. substance isuse awareness..dealing with emotions..etc..

The local authorityjumped on bvoard this ideoligy and now run this course externaly from my hostel, and to a wider range clientel.. i am very happy that so many will benefit from this course ... but today was the last straw..


July 06 i suggested at a homeless stratergy meeting that 'PREVENTION was alawys paramount to cure' and suggested that training in school 11-16 year olds was paramount in targeting a message that adolescent behaviour and adolescent experimentation could lead to homelessness.

ie... take drugs at home.. mum and dad say.. no..way leave.. this house.

ie.. steal cars, rob houses, shoplift..... you will get into serious trouble and may be asked to leave home... or be unable to return home after serving a prison sentence...

WELL HALLAUJAH......... i was informed today the locality in which i work was granted a three year contract for a worker plus funding for 10 current young people to act as peer-educators [ expenses paid] to deliver a message in all senior schools about homelessness. but more important that behaviour /life choices/ can lead to homelessness..

its aim is to re-inforce that rules are rules either at home or exteranaly... and that there are consequences for actions... and my main belief we are all totaly responsible for what ever we do...............


Part of me feels agreieved that my ideas are used universaly so to speak by local authorities, with a total diregard for my input...yet im pleased young people will now have access to the true meaning of life... and not the uk.. left wing fluffy approach to life...


This said my wife is mortified that yet another theory/idea is pillfered and i just carry on.

Maybe i need a break in the land of oppotunity..........anyone out there in need of community youth directives [ im now prosituting my services so to speak]


.....................

DAVID
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Old 01-09-2008, 07:17 PM   #9
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Lots of communities would be thrilled to get you David. I do understand your wife's frustration but tell her I said you'll get your reward in heaven.

Remember dear friend that no good deed goes unpunished. *grin

And tomorrow, you will get up and do it again because you care and someone has to do it whether they get credit for it or not.
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Old 06-29-2009, 05:38 AM   #10
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Bump, because I wanted to watch the clock again....~sigh
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