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BYU suicide and campus mental health appt. wait times

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1 hour ago, lostindc said:

If that get's you to sleep at night.  

The suicide rates are significantly higher, the mental illness rates are significantly higher, it's not mountains, social media, a weaker generation, it's something else, and until it's remedied, we might want to throw resources at the problem.

Simplifying the complicated problem of suicide by rejecting possible contributors is not helpful.  And gut responding without research can be dangerous.  In some areas, it was shown that suicide rates went up among youth when their schools started to have suicide prevention efforts.  Research is necessary to determine what helps and what hurts.

I am not putting up this info to absolve the Church or Utah government or its people who vote in its lawmakers from responsibility, but to point out the complexity of the issues.  We need to know more, pretending you already know enough to condemn the Church wholesale just doesn't match the research we currently have.  For example, there is research that show LGBT youth do have more significant emotional problems in highly religious environments, but the same study showed that removing themselves from that environment actually increased risks, not lessened them.  So the 'common sense' approach of telling LGBT youth to leave their faiths if they are unhappy or uncomfortable with some aspects of it is not the message those concerned for them should be telling them.  Another solution needs to be sought out and tested.

Depression is rampant in my family, my daughter can't leave the house most days because of it.  And we had to drive an hour to find a psychiatrist to treat her.  There was only one child psychologist in .Utah County when we first tried when she was 14, he made things worse by refusing to treat her as a whole.  I got misdiagnosed for decades as depressive rather than sleep deprived because doctors weren't trained well enough.  In no way am I satisfied with the state of responses in either Utah or the Church.  I find however any one sided approach extremely unhelpful from what I have seen in my life and the lives of those around me.

Edited by Calm
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Just now, clarkgoble said:

I think the obvious problem with that analogy is that Millennials and Gen Z aren't facing the massive degree of poverty that people faced in the Great Depression. Typically people note that the suicide rate starts rising nationally right as Twitter and Facebook start gaining numbers. So there's something we can do - get people off social media. But when Pres. Nelson advocates even a fast from social media he's frequently ridiculed or worse.

How do you treat the problem if you don't know what is causing it?

Therapy isn't magic. It's not going to make someone healthy who wasn't without their making changes in their life.

Further you've not addressed the issue of mental health resources outside of BYU.

According to the KSL story in the comments, this person had long term mental health issues. More than likely it was unwise for her to have entered into such a stressful environment given those challenges.

Yes the variables are different for the depression era compared to now, but I bet research can show that the responses are similar.  

You asked, "How do you treat the problem if you don't know what is causing it?," and I reply, when a doctor is setting someone's broken leg do they focus on what caused the broken leg or is the doctor focused on setting the broken leg so the healing process can happen and then other measures can be taken?

 

Anyways, I don't even know how this is even an argument?  How on earth is this debatable whether more counselors are needed a BYU or not?  How is one sitting on a message board formulating arguments for why less counselors are needed at BYU?  Why are we discussing cell phones, elevation, opioids, millennials resiliency, etc.?  Why are so many fighting like crazy to deny the statistics of higher mental illness and suicide rates in Utah? Where are we today?

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Am I missing something here? Did the suicide occur because the victim had tried and failed to see an on-campus counselor? I don’t get that from either of the linked-to news stories. 

That’s what I’ve been looking for.

seems to me people are just looking for an excuse to complain about BYU and the church

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2 minutes ago, Avatar4321 said:

That’s what I’ve been looking for.

seems to me people are just looking for an excuse to complain about BYU and the church

Yep.  Even to the extent of weaponizing and exploiting a tragic suicide to do it.

Sure would be nice to see the critics stop doing this.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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4 minutes ago, Calm said:

Simplifying the complicated problem of suicide by rejecting possible contributors is not helpful.  And gut responding without research can be dangerous.  In some areas, it was shown that suicide ages went up among youth when their schools started to have suicide prevention efforts.  Research is necessary to determine what helps and what hurts.

I am not putting up this info to absolve the Church or Utah government or its people who vote in its lawmakers from responsibility, but to point out the complexity of the issues.  We need to know more, pretending you already know enough to condemn the Church wholesale just doesn't match the research we currently have.  For example, there is research that show LGBT youth do have more significant emotional problems in highly religious environments, but the same study showed that removing themselves from that environment actually increased risks, not lessened them.  So the 'common sense' approach of telling LGBT youth to leave their faiths if they are unhappy or uncomfortable with some aspects of it is not the message those concerned for them should be telling them.  Another solution needs to be sought out and tested.

Depression is rampant in my family, my daughter can't leave the house most days because of it.  And we had to drive an hour to find a psychiatrist to treat her.  There was only one child psychologist in .Utah County when we first tried when she was 14, he made things worse by refusing to treat her as a whole.  I got misdiagnosed for decades as depressive rather than sleep deprived because doctors weren't trained well enough.  In no way am I satisfied with the state of responses in either Utah or the Church.  I find however any one sided approach extremely unhelpful from what I have seen in my life and the lives of those around me.

I am so sorry about you daughter.  I really do care.  My fear in moving west, was heavily focused on poor education funding and terrible healthcare.  This fear is not unfounded in some regions.  I don't live in Utah, but I have, and I am there a lot, and I worked at a university a met quite a few highly qualified psych phd candidates that were returning to SLC to build up the offerings.  So, I hope, and I believe Salt Lake County has improved greatly in terms of mental health specialists that are very capable in most realms of mental illness.

To me, meeting the demands of the students asking for more counselors doesn't have many drawbacks, at worse the department is overfunded with a bunch of counselors playing roblox on their phones all day, at best, they help prevent suicide. 

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24 minutes ago, lostindc said:

Yes the variables are different for the depression era compared to now, but I bet research can show that the responses are similar.  

Isn't it easy to demonstrate they are not? There were no widespread anti-depressants in the Great Depression, no subsidized or free medical treatment including mental health treatment, and no wide corp of therapists and psychologists trained with the increased knowledge of the past century.

24 minutes ago, lostindc said:

You asked, "How do you treat the problem if you don't know what is causing it?," and I reply, when a doctor is setting someone's broken leg do they focus on what caused the broken leg or is the doctor focused on setting the broken leg so the healing process can happen and then other measures can be taken?

Pretty much no doctor will set a bone without first taking an x-ray to ensure they know what is actually wrong. So that's a very bad analogy that actually demonstrates the opposite. Doctors always first try to find out what's causing the symptoms.

24 minutes ago, lostindc said:

How on earth is this debatable whether more counselors are needed a BYU or not?  How is one sitting on a message board formulating arguments for why less counselors are needed at BYU?  Why are we discussing cell phones, elevation, opioids, millennials resiliency, etc.?  Why are so many fighting like crazy to deny the statistics of higher mental illness and suicide rates in Utah? Where are we today?

If you'd read the responses there would be pretty clear explanations of why this is debatable.

1. Many people with mental health issues should not be in a stressful college environment. Therefore keeping them in that environment and just offering talk therapy may not solve the problem but actually contribute to the mental deterioration of the person.

2. Much like going to the campus health clinic isn't the appropriate treatment for serious physical symptoms, going to a campus therapist is likely not as good as going to more robust health professionals. Therapists aren't doctors and promoting limited therapy as the solution again could be making the problem worse not better. As I've linked to there are many very good resources locally around BYU that provide these more extensive services. A person with heart problems who goes to the BYU clinic instead of a cardiologist or hospital is going to be at risk of severe consequences. Likewise someone with a history of mental illness, as this woman apparently was, who isn't making use of dedicated mental health facilities is at risk.

3. There's a live question of whether BYU is worse than the surrounding area of Utah county. In which case you're saying the Church should provide services to BYU students that they don't to other Mormons of the same age. Is that fair? Surely if the Church has a responsibility to BYU students because they're Mormon that shouldn't be more than they do to others.

4. Increasing mental health services to the level I suspect you want costs money. That increases the cost of BYU. While that may not matter to you, that does matter to others who likely don't want to pay more in tuition. While not decisive on its own, combined with other points it matters a great deal. Again the better situation would typically be people taking a break from college until they're able to get their health in order. In other words mental health should be treated like physical health.

 

No one that I'm aware of in the thread is advocating doing nothing. I think they are questioning some of your solutions and certainly some of the claims you've made.

24 minutes ago, lostindc said:

My fear in moving west, was heavily focused on poor education funding and terrible healthcare.


I actually think you have a point with regard to per pupil spending for K-12. That's complicated somewhat by some factors, but I think Utah in particular underspends on education. Although the quality of education for again various reasons isn't the same as spending. I think Utah should pay teachers more, but the ability to get good teachers at low salary is the reason Utah's been able to get away with low spending. I think those days are over though and Utah is going to have to significantly increase salaries to keep a reasonable quality of teacher.

Healthcare however seems quite the opposite. Healthcare in the United States is complicated due to various issues due to the way it is funded. However several hospitals are nationally ranked so I'm a bit more surprised at that. Were you just referring to medicaid expansion that was passed last month?

 

Edited by clarkgoble
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2 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Another question worth asking is "How on earth is rhetorically weaponizing suicides in order to criticize Church helpful to anyone?"

Thanks,

-Smac

Fair question, if you think this is built on a criticism of the Church then you spend to much time on this board debating/defending and it's warped your sense of my motives and potentially others.  

Is it fair to say that if you spend your time on this board defending the Church, then maybe, you're geared to operate in this realm?  Maybe if you took a step back and didn't debate for say a couple years and you encountered my concerns in this thread that you might receive them as not necessarily criticizing the Church as much as hoping to provoke change?

Surely, we can turn this into a word game, but why do it on the backs of students that can't see counselors for months and are suffering?  Why do it today, when another child took her life?  I am saying consider listening to these students (the young adults of the church), hear their concerns, consider diverting a very tiny portion of funds marked for financial investments towards more counseling.  Is not one life saved worth it?

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6 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Isn't it easy to demonstrate they are not? There were no widespread anti-depressants in the Great Depression, no subsidized or free medical treatment including mental health treatment, and no wide corp of therapists and psychologists trained with the increased knowledge of the past century.

Pretty much no doctor will set a bone without first taking an x-ray to ensure they know what is actually wrong. So that's a very bad analogy that actually demonstrates the opposite. Doctors always first try to find out what's causing the symptoms.

If you'd read the responses there would be pretty clear explanations of why this is debatable.

1. Many people with mental health issues should not be in a stressful college environment. Therefore keeping them in that environment and just offering talk therapy may not solve the problem but merely contribute to the mental deterioration of the person

2. Much like going to the campus clinic isn't the appropriate treatment for something serious, going to a campus therapist is likely not as good as going to more robust health professionals. Therapists aren't doctors and promoting limited therapy as a solution again could be making the problem worse not better. As I've linked to there are many very good resources locally around BYU that provide these more extensive services.

3. There's a live question of whether BYU is worse than the surrounding area of Utah county. In which case you're saying the Church should provide services to BYU students that they don't to other Mormons of the same age. Is that fair? Surely if the Church has a responsibility to BYU students because they're Mormon that shouldn't be more than they do to others.

4. Increasing mental health services to the level I suspect you want costs money. That increases the cost of BYU. While that may not matter to you, that does matter to others who likely don't want to pay more in tuition. While not decisive on its own, combined with other points it matters a great deal. Again the better situation would typically be people taking a break from college until they're able to get their health in order. In other words mental health should be treated like physical health.

Clark, I can't today guy.  I can't humor your posts and your ideas on what will fix the problems.  Please listen to the students asking for more counselors.  It appears that a young girl just killed herself at BYU and the students are asking for additional counselors because it takes a long time to get into treatment.  We have the funding Clark.  We really do.  Okay?

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58 minutes ago, lostindc said:

You're kidding right?  This "generation does not have a lot of resilience."  Very christlike.  I wonder if the variables changed for "this generation".  

Many are full of spite because this is an ongoing problem and the Church and BYU aren't providing enough resources, and as God's one and true Church they're responsible for their flock.  When we read of the Church investing in another property, another building, another farm, or whatever we get disgusted.  When my friend's son killed himself in his dorm room at BYU a couple years ago, I wish I could have been there earlier to tell him that it's going to be okay, that he doesn't have to stay Mormon, that he can be gay if that was really the issue, that maybe the school or the Church doesn't have resources available at the time but we will find him the resources, and he can live a full life, a happy life.  

Now run along and make this another argue for the sake of arguing and defending the Church at all costs.

3

You are confusing stating facts with....I haven't a clue what Christlike attitude has to do with it; try again to insult another, but begin by being....gads, use some common sense maybe.

Stupidity is unbecoming and easy to overcome.  Answer some questions:  Is this unique to BYU or any other church-related school?   I linked an article that proved it was not. Do you have anything to prove your allegations?  NOPE.  Now, run along and let thinking people talk about topics that are obviously above your...I think you may eventually work it out. 

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1 hour ago, lostindc said:

You're kidding right?

 

This "generation does not have a lot of resilience."  Very christlike.  I wonder if the variables changed for "this generation".  

 

Many are full of spite because this is an ongoing problem and the Church and BYU aren't providing enough resources, and as God's one and true Church they're responsible for their flock.  When we read of the Church investing in another property, another building, another farm, or whatever we get disgusted.  When my friend's son killed himself in his dorm room at BYU a couple years ago, I wish I could have been there earlier to tell him that it's going to be okay, that he doesn't have to stay Mormon, that he can be gay if that was really the issue, that maybe the school or the Church doesn't have resources available at the time but we will find him the resources, and he can live a full life, a happy life.  

Now run along and make this another argue for the sake of arguing and defending the Church at all costs.

Telling the truth isnt Christ like?

Now I’ve heard everything 

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53 minutes ago, lostindc said:

Really? 

If you read one of my links, research was able to demonstrate a significant drop of problems by mental health treatment of boys in juvenile facilities in the state (which has high correlation with suicide) and actually saved the state money by keeping numbers of returns down. Unfortunately funding ended and the program was discontinued  

Ignoring actual research means missed opportunities to help and wasted money. 

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

Maybe the world Is just more awful.......

Then let’s build Zion and make it better

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3 minutes ago, lostindc said:

Fair question, if you think this is built on a criticism of the Church then you spend to much time on this board debating/defending and it's warped your sense of my motives and potentially others.  

It's a fair question on its own.

3 minutes ago, lostindc said:

Is it fair to say that if you spend your time on this board defending the Church, then maybe, you're geared to operate in this realm?  

"In this realm?"  What does that mean?

3 minutes ago, lostindc said:

Maybe if you took a step back and didn't debate for say a couple years and you encountered my concerns in this thread that you might receive them as not necessarily criticizing the Church as much as hoping to provoke change?

I'd like to think that.  But c'mon.  You are using a suicide to criticize and find fault.  That's just not helpful.

FWIW, I live in Provo, and have done so for 14+ years.  I went to BYU.  Twice.  I met my wife there.  I have children who want to go there.  The people there are fellow members of my faith.  So I have a very strong interest in their welfare. 

Now we have a critic of our faith, who lives thousands of miles away in a coastal elite enclave like Washington DC, who comes to this board and presumes to lecture us and harangue our Church.  And exploits a suicide as a rhetorical launching pad for these salvos.

Again, not helpful.

3 minutes ago, lostindc said:

Surely, we can turn this into a word game,

Or . . . not.

A good way to do that would be for critics to stop carping and finding fault and criticizing.  And to stop weaponizing difficult and sensitive issues like suicide to attack our faith.  

3 minutes ago, lostindc said:

but why do it on the backs of students that can't see counselors for months and are suffering?  Why do it today, when another child took her life?  

Why, indeed?  What value is there is coming to this board and using a suicide to harangue the Church and its members?

3 minutes ago, lostindc said:

I am saying consider listening to these students (the young adults of the church), hear their concerns, consider diverting a very tiny portion of funds marked for financial investments towards more counseling.  Is not one life saved worth it?

That's not all you're saying though, is it?

I really don't understand the mindset of people who want to use suicide as a rhetorical weapon against the Church.

Thanks,

-Smac

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52 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Regarding the relationship between religious observance and mental health, Daniel Peterson gave a very good presentation at the 2017 FAIR Conference.

Some excerpts (emphases added):

The entire article is worth a read.

Thanks,

-Smac

 

Good article. I know in my own experience that if it weren’t for the gospel my anxiety and depression would be far worse than it is. I probably would’ve been dead by now otherwise.

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2 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

It's worth noting that there is a flier I believe they give out at the clinic at BYU listing mental health options. You'd never know from the way people, often apparently ignorant former students, are going on in places like Twitter and Facebook. In particular most students should qualify for medicaid.

It's $15 per session although they reduce that if the student can't pay.

So far as I can tell we know nothing about this unfortunate young women. People, especially the usual suspects, are just jumping to conclusions. Ditto about LGBT issues. 

The main complaint though is the broader issue of more demand than the BYU therapists can keep up with.

BYU doesn't keep statistics so it's hard to know for sure. Certainly this isn't the only one though. It's unfortunately reasonably common, presumably about at the rate of the state. 

Yes, I'm a bit cynical myself. There's a lot of presumption therapists can cure things but their abilities are actually quite limited. Often oversold by therapists. Ditto the effectiveness of drugs.  As I said originally one of the key things to do is likely to take oneself out of the stressful situation causing the problems - that for many people is college itself!

 

To be fair. I got my degree for therapy at BYU and had my undergrads in Psych there. Overall I went to school there for 6 years. I worked under Dean Barley at one point (the man who authored the resource flyer). I saw 3 therapists at the school and was a student therapist as part of my program. But most of these resources I only knew once I worked for him. I graduated for the final time 3+ years ago, so things could have definitely changed in the interim, but I think there could be more promotion of services available to students, especially for incoming freshman. 

Also, unless it changed....the main clinic in the Wilk at BYU is free. The one that Barley is head over comes with the minimal cost as you mentioned and is can be on a sliding scale. 

There is a good amount of therapists at BYU, definitely. But it couldn't hurt to have more as there is definitely plenty of demand. And rates of anxiety and depression are increasing with younger populations...so demand is just going to grow in coming years. That said, I don't know if that would be enough for this woman, specifically, to have received the help she needed in time. Even when people are aware of potential services or that they need therapy, they often don't reach out or tough it out until its far worse. There's no one single solution to mental illness 

Obviously as a therapist, I'm less of a cynic. I know there's people that I won't be able to help. Either their problems aren't my expertise or the relationship between us isn't solid for one reason or another or for other concerns outside my control. But I also see a lot more people who come in to see me begin to heal and gain a more positive outlook in their life. I've seen people move from a more suicidal place to one of hope, marriages heal, unhealthy family patterns stop, depression/anxiety reduce, traumas be healed, and for others just to feel more in control of their life. My joy this week, was realizing that a number of these happened for a couple I've been working with for a while. And its amazing every time.

It makes me sad, what happened to this woman and several others who died by suicide with less publicity. I've dealt with suicidality in my office and have luckily not faced a completed suicide attempt yet. 

Not all of this is specifically towards you, but to the OP in general as well. I'm just a little lazy today in dividing it up.

 

With luv,

BD

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15 minutes ago, lostindc said:

Clark, I can't today guy.  I can't humor your posts and your ideas on what will fix the problems.  Please listen to the students asking for more counselors.  It appears that a young girl just killed herself at BYU and the students are asking for additional counselors because it takes a long time to get into treatment.  We have the funding Clark.  We really do.  Okay?

Perhaps you should see a therapist about your inability to address these ideas?

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6 minutes ago, Avatar4321 said:

Then let’s build Zion and make it better

That sounds hard. Can’t I just Use heroin?

Edited by The Nehor

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28 minutes ago, lostindc said:

Clark, I can't today guy.  I can't humor your posts and your ideas on what will fix the problems.  Please listen to the students asking for more counselors.  It appears that a young girl just killed herself at BYU and the students are asking for additional counselors because it takes a long time to get into treatment.  We have the funding Clark.  We really do.  Okay?

I've listened. I think they're wrong. The girl in question had a long history of mental illness according to neighbors. Going to a campus clinic is absolutely the wrong thing for her and potentially being in a high stress environment was the wrong thing. That's not to say if she was feeling suicidal she shouldn't have gone to the clinic. As I noted walk ins and particularly walk ins in immediate stress are taken. However it seems these were long term serious conditions and she almost certainly needed long term treatment and likely withdrawal from school.

Students are asking for additional counselors because they are under the mistaken belief that BYU counselors are the only options. Now I do believe BYU should better publicize the resources available but that's different from what you've said. I actually also don't mind the idea of increasing counselors either, but think it wrong as the only solution, and don't think it addresses questions of how therapists are treating students. More significantly I don't think it'll solve the problem.

13 minutes ago, BlueDreams said:

I think there could be more promotion of services available to students, especially for incoming freshman. 

I definitely agree with this. It seems clear that many people aren't aware of the resources available.

13 minutes ago, BlueDreams said:

Not all of this is specifically towards you, but to the OP in general as well. I'm just a little lazy today in dividing it up.

No problem. I was actually hoping you'd chime in. I didn't realize you were so recent out of BYU though.

If you don't mind me picking your mind, do you know if BYU therapists use cognitive behavioral therapy? I'd heard they don't. Even though there are studies showing it's as effective as anti-depressants. I've also heard that therapists don't address other issues such as dietary or medical causes. Given that college students are notorious with their consumption of unhealthy food, I'd think emphasizing dietary changes would have a reasonable impact. 

The worry I have about the BYU clinic is just that it's limited. That is those in serious distress won't get the same treatment as say over at Mountainland.

Edited by clarkgoble
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20 minutes ago, Storm Rider said:

You are confusing stating facts with....I haven't a clue what Christlike attitude has to do with it; try again to insult another, but begin by being....gads, use some common sense maybe.

Stupidity is unbecoming and easy to overcome.  Answer some questions:  Is this unique to BYU or any other church-related school?   I linked an article that proved it was not. Do you have anything to prove your allegations?  NOPE.  Now, run along and let thinking people talk about topics that are obviously above your...I think you may eventually work it out. 

Do the students wait months to see a counselor?  Are they asking for more resources?  You can spit hyperbole all you want, all I ask is that you listen to the youth of the Church.

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2 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

I'm not sure that's true. Residency is easy to obtain. Also even if you're maintaining residency in an other state (why?) you can be on medicaid there which since it's a federal program would pay in Utah. Certainly there are students earning more than $12,000 per year and thus not able to qualify for medicaid. But in those cases they could arguably pay for therapy too. Foreign students would have more of an issue though.

Someone may have already commented, but medicaid from one state is not always accepted in another state.  This is because each state administers it's own medicaid programs.  This is also why the eligibility to receive medicaid changes from state to state and why medicaid is not transferable if you move out of the state where you received it.

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12 minutes ago, Calm said:

If you read one of my links, research was able to demonstrate a significant drop of problems by mental health treatment of boys in juvenile facilities in the state (which has high correlation with suicide) and actually saved the state money by keeping numbers of returns down. Unfortunately funding ended and the program was discontinued  

Ignoring actual research means missed opportunities to help and wasted money. 

no one wants to ignore research.  I believe the students want counselors now, research can follow.  Is that okay?

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7 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Perhaps you should see a therapist about your inability to address these ideas?

almost, so close, but not there, work on it, refine, and post again.

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