Do not threaten suicide in front of your math tutor, please.

I know you were probably joking. But I don’t know you well enough to make that call. College suicides are a real major issue nationwide, and now I have to ruin your day as well as mine by notifying the proper people on campus. It’s my next-to-last day before summer, and I’d thought my headaches were almost over. I didn’t want to spend the day answering a bunch of questions about your mental state.

“How would you describe her actions?”

“Well, they were very irrational. She tried to factor y^2 - 2y + 1 as (y+3)(y+1). What do you want from me? I know math, not people. If I knew people, I’d be a political science major, and I’d also know whether or not she was joking.”

Another long day in the tutorial lab.

Og, is the semester over yet? May I add, “Do not cry during your physics exam”? I don’t want to make my students cry. If you’re having trouble with the class, come see me for help. Don’t cry during my exam! Please?

Not as bad as the OP, I know.

Oy. I feel for you.

But yeah, ya gotta tell someone.

Have fun with your summer, though!

Perhaps. I’m a Poli Sci major, and I don’t know people. I also am not good at figuring out when someone is threatening suicide or looking for attention. However, since I have to do it almost daily, I’m getting better at it. :frowning:

I hear you. My kids (high school) take the AP European History test this afternoon. I am keeping a close eye on them this morning…tightly-wrapped just doesn’t describe them right now. At least no-one got taken to the hospital with stress-related ailments this year! :smiley:

That’ll probably be the last time that student seeks tutoring for anything.

You do realize that this person could end up involuntarily committed for a couple of weeks, right?

Actually, it’s not that easy to be involuntarily committed, at least in Pennsylvania.

I know because my therapist once asked me why I called a suicide hotline instead of her once, even though she was a very good therapist. I told her it was because I was afraid I would be involuntarily committed and, since one reason I was suicidal was because I was out of work, I didn’t think spending time in the hospital would help the situation. She told me that it is very difficult to have someone committed against their will.

Humanist, I’m sorry. Serious or joking, that’s a hell of a thing to put on someone!


Are you suggesting that the OP should have just let it go without saying anything to anyone?

You would rather have Humanist ignore it?

So they say, but I knew one guy who cracked a joke about killing himself and ended up in Western Psychiatric for a month until he could convince the doctors that he was kidding, that it was a typical case of a college student joking about suicide during finals week, and that he was in no way suicidal.

Not only that, but there are other consequences. A mark like that, whether the student is committed or not, goes into the student’s file. It can affect their future academic career, and can come out later on to bite them in the ass if they ever want to succeed in the public sector.

Ratting them out just teaches them to keep their mouths shut.

If they didn’t mean it, then they SHOULD have kept their mouth shut. If they did mean it, then they need help.

And the only thing that my employers ever learned from my college was if I had a degree, and what grades I got. I believe that any school that released mental health information about it’s students would be in for a well deserved legal flogging.

Mental health records are confidential. I don’t see how future employers are going to find out about an off the cuff suicide threat.

Maybe the girl was joking, but if Humanist couldn’t tell, then that’s reason enough to notify the proper authorities.

Well, if they really are joking, then maybe being ratted out will teach them not to be such idiots about a subject that every college student should know is taken very seriously by college staff and administrations. And if ratting the jokers out teaches them to keep their stupid mouth shut, then it’s served its purpose.

On the other hand, if they’re serious, then the possibility of a mark on their record pales into insignificance beside the possibility that they might try to kill themselves. If an intervention can prevent them from attempting suicide, i really don’t think that we should ignore that possibility just because it might inconvenience them a little bit in their job search.

Finally, i’d like some evidence that a person’s academic transcript would contain any evidence whatsoever of an incident like this.

On preview, what Tastes of Chocolate said.

Do you mean something like, “pass me or I’ll slit my throat”? If you’re going to off yourself over a math problem, go ahead, just don’t get my shoes bloody.

Oh yes, they need help. Sure they do. People who want to be helped tend to look for it. People who don’t want help and get it anyway end up like a friend of mine. He got ‘help’ and then he learned not to tell anybody he wanted to kill himself.

Must’ve worked, because he hanged himself unimpeded.

I guess you missed the ‘public’ part of that. What if he or she wants to run for office?

That’ll hardly prevent it from getting into a newspaper if this kid someday runs for office.

Or it teaches them what overreactive babies they’re dealing with.

If they’re really serious? It delays it for a while, until they figure out what to say to the shrinks so they can get out of the mental hospital.

I didn’t say it’d be on the transcript. I said that records have a way of getting leaked.

If he didn’t want help, then perhaps learning not to tell was best. Expecting someone to listen to you talk about killing yourself, keep it to themselves & live with the guilt when you do kill yourself is the most rediculous and selfish thing I’ve ever heard.


So the guy who wasn’t suicidal, which we know because he was “joking” about killing himself, killed himself. Exactly what am I missing here?


catsix is joking?

Well, there’s a huge difference between “joking” and “a threat that could be construed as a cry for help”. Fercrissakes…I joke about suicide ALL THE TIME. If you feel it was a joke, and you got your bowels in an uproar because of this kid has a morbid sense of humor, I have to tell you…your student isn’t the one with the problem. Sarcasm is one of the ways people get through the tough side of life.