MASSACHUSETTS: MIT students turn their brainpower toward suicide prevention

March 04, 2016

News Type:  Weekly Spark News
Speaker:  Massachusetts

CBS Boston

In the wake of several suicides at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the school is adding staff psychologists and expanding counseling hours. Students have also started developing their own projects to promote mental health on campus. One is a texting hotline called Lean On Me where students can talk anonymously with trained student volunteers about their problems. Another project, called the MIT Puppy Lab, will bring therapy dogs to campus. Students also plan to place light boxes around the campus to help with the depression of the darker months.  One student, Izzy Lloyd, has given out over 4,000 wristbands that say TMAYD, which stands for “tell me about your day.”  According to Lloyd, “It’s suicide prevention by community building. We’re showing people who may feel like they have nothing left that they have a world of people who do care about them.” MIT is not the only college where students are becoming involved in suicide prevention. “We have found time and again that students listen to students before they listen to anyone else,” said Nance Roy, clinical director at the Jed Foundation. “These issues can no longer just fall to the counseling center.” And, in fact, a number of other colleges have already expressed interest in MIT’s text line and wristbands.