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July 18, 2006 | by  | in Online Only | [ssba]

Oh, no, you’re not alone

Earlier in the year a flatmate of mine tried to kill himself. I was awoken early one summer morning to find his mother at the door, having driven half way down the island overnight to be with him in hospital. Luckily he was going to be ok, physically at least.

What shocked me the most was not that he wanted to die, but that he wanted to die and I didn’t notice. My room was not even five meters down the corridor from his. We got drunk together regularly. I knew he had been depressed, and I knew he had been on medication. But I was too obsessed in my own problems: trying to find a new flat and subsequent bond issues, summer school, working two jobs, a relationship in which the cracks were beginning to show, to notice that he had stopped going to see his psychiatrist. And that he had slowly started withdrawing from our company.

So when his mum turned up that morning, I felt so unbelievably guilty.

Which is why when I got an email last week regarding a online student survey about stress, mental health and suicide prevention at Vic suicide prevention at Vic , I filled it out immediately. And I urge you to do the same. It takes two minutes, and you never know how the information you provide can help someone else.


About the Author ()

Nicola Kean: feature writer, philanthropist, womanly woman. Nicola is the smallest member of the Salient team, but eats really large pieces of lasagne. Favourites include 80s music, the scent of fresh pine needles and long walks on the beach.

Comments (3)

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  1. Greg says:

    Have you heard from he-that-shall-remain-anonymous recently?

    That was a pretty hard circumstance, he didn’t want people to notice that things weren’t so good either though. So you cannot blame yourself for not noticing anything.

  2. Nicola says:

    I don’t really want to discuss either of those in such a public forum.

  3. Gerard Hoffman says:

    Powerful and succinct article Nicola. You may be interested to know that almost 2000 Victoria students and 400 staff have thus far completed the on line survey. Lots of interesting and helpful feedback that will hopefully assist in addressing this issue. Thanks for helping bring it to students attention. Gerard Hoffman, Head of Counselling Service VUW

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