February 7, 2019

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Re: ‘SONG | A Relationship Isn’t the Answer to Happiness’

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While the article focuses on shattering ideals of a relationship effectively, it appalls me that there is a specific mentioning of the author’s suicidal ideations with no further comment from either the editor or the author herself. At a time when mental health issues are so rife with complications on campus, the blasé mention of a serious suicidal thought is not one of transparency and a call for solidarity. Rather, it is an indication of just how far our campus narrative needs to shift towards not only communication and openness, but also of acknowledging that this culture of mental health issues must move in a supportive and serious context. Suicidal ideation is a serious concern, and when someone admits to such experiences to a wide audience with no acknowledgement that this sort of behavior is not healthy and that some form of action is being taken to ensure her safety, it is also a cause of concern for the author’s personal experiences as well. While I in no way am condemning the act of sharing one’s personal experiences with mental health, one must talk about and publish stories on this crucial issue with more context so as to not breed normalcy — “The impact of the media on suicidal behavior seems to be most likely when a method of suicide is specified — especially when presented in detail — when the story is reported or portrayed dramatically and prominently”, according to the Centre for Suicide Research at Oxford. The article also provides no mention of mental health services on campus for those who are experiencing difficulties to underscore the importance of mental health support. Having recently lost a friend and almost losing another one to suicide, this article conveys this topic in a way that de-legitimizes the significance of such experiences and underscores the pervasiveness of a toxic mental health culture at Cornell.

Joanna Hua ’20