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MIT student blogger Rachel D. '16

World Suicide Prevention Day by Rachel D. '16

Write love on your arms to show support

MIT is a really stressful place.  Class just started less than one week ago, and I already have four problem sets due and a quiz this week.  Still, I love it here.  This weekend, I played with cats, took a trip to Costco, made pizzas, dressed like a princess, went to the incredible Garment District and got $10 rainboots, and dug through piles of discarded electronics.  The Garment District is one of my new favorite places in Cambridge.  Look at the boots!

And here is a picture of my roommate Maggie making pizza!!

On a different note, today is World Suicide Prevention Day.  Like I said, MIT is a really stressful place filled with really stressed out people, even if we have many fun times and get really happy.  The work gets to be overwhelming at times, and it’s important to know that we have so many resources here for people who feel overworked or ill.  Piper H. ’13 wrote an awesome post about the different services MIT offers to help students in need of support, but I think it’s important to spread additional awareness of what MIT offers to help people on this day.

1) Student Support Services
Upperclassmen keep telling me to take advantage of Student Support Services (S^3) if I ever get sick or anything.  S^3 is the support center on campus and if anyone ever feels ill or is having any kind of problem, they can go to S^3 or e-mail them and they will take care of everything.  They will e-mail your professors, talk to you about any issues you are having, and tell you who you can go to if you need certain things.  If you ever need to take any time away from the institute, these are the people to talk to!

2) MedLinks
I applied to be a MedLink!!  The program looks really interesting, and I think that it’ll be a great way to prepare myself for eventually getting my EMT certification.  Anna H. ’14 actually posted about it and another advising program a few weeks ago!  She summarized how MedLinks help students stay healthy and are very accessible people that students can talk to at anytime during the year for help with any problems.

3) MIT Medical
MIT Medical is right on campus and it’s free to go there!! My neighbor, Lex, has been feeling sick the past week and he’s been going there and they gave him all sorts of medicine and now he’s feeling much better!! They will treat anything from a cold to a concussion to a broken arm, and the pharmacy is right there if you need to get any medicine!!

4) Anyone at MIT
In all honestly, if I was ever having a problem here I would have absolutely no problem going to any of my fellow MIT students.  My first week at MIT, my grandfather passed away.  I was so lost and actually found out while I was at a public service event for my pre-orientation program, the Freshman Urban Program (FUP).  I held in my tears and sadness the entire day, but by the end of the night everything built up and I was extremely upset.  My FUP counselors were so considerate and helpful and walked me back to my dorm and held on to me and let me know that I was not alone and that I could miss as many or as little FUP events as I wanted.  They are still there for me if I ever need to talk, and it’s so easy for anyone here to find someone to talk to.  I feel like there’s always someone to talk to here, and I’m never completely alone.  The MIT community is really unique in that way.

5) National/State Organizations
If you are not at MIT, there are still tons of resources that can help you through tough times. Here are a few:
Massachusetts Suicide & Crisis Hotlines
To Write Love on Her Arms 
National Institute of Mental Health
National Suicide Prevention Hotline

There are so many sources of help here at MIT and in general for people who feel lost or unhappy with themselves. There are always people willing to talk to you, and you should never feel afraid of asking for help.

If you want to show extra support for the prevention of suicide around the world, write love on your arms!! I tried to spread word about it via the MIT Class of 2016 Facebook page today, and people were all for it! Raise awareness this week of suicide prevention and work towards making the world a happier place :)