Thursday, June 7, 2018

Suicide Among The Best And The Brightest: Portraits of Resilience

The great songwriter Johnny Mandel wrote, in the theme song for MASH, that “suicide is painless.” It’s not. The emotional pain and depression that often leads to it, is anything but. Moreover the pain for the survivors is unfathomable.

Yet we are witnessing an epidemic of suicide among some of best and brightest young people today. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death among college students.

Back in 2014 and 2015, even such an esteemed institution as MIT experienced a suicide cluster, resulting in the death of 6 students and 1 faculty member.

Because of its deeply personal nature, the search for symptoms and causes needs to be more personal than clinical. After the MIT suicides, an MIT computer science professor, Daniel Jackson, set out to do something to begin to understand what had happened and to help others.

What he did, reached not into the pharmacy, but into the soul of his students. These end result is Portraits of Resilience.

My conversation with Professor Daniel Jackson: