What a successful university mental health program looks like

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On May 20, Karen Arkin was standing in the common room of her son's dormitory at Northwestern University. The day before, in the early morning hours, Jason Arkin went into that room and took an overdose of pills that sent him into a seizure. He was taken to a local hospital, where he died that afternoon.

Now, as Arkin stood in the same room where her son had taken his own life just hours earlier, she was being asked by a university administrator to hide what had happened. (Citing federal law and university policy, Northwestern declined to comment to The Week on Arkin's case.)

The administrator, as Arkin recalls, said, "'As far as all the students know here, he just had a seizure. So they can just think he died of a medical condition.' I said, 'Absolutely not. The students are going to know, one way or another, that this was a suicide. They deserve to know.'"

About the Author
kimKimberly Alters is the social media editor at TheWeek.com. She is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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