Respond to Suicide:
Jed Foundation Tries to Save Lives
Pola Rosen, Ed.D.
have suffered the greatest nightmare of parenthood: you have lost
a child to the violent, self-inflicted torture of suicide. Your
life will never be the same.
Some parents feel guilt: they should have been more insightful
and seen the pain. Others can’t go on and feel their lives are
destroyed. Some few find that through blazing a path to help other
young adults, they are helping to memorialize the child they lost.
Donna Satow is one such parent. After her son Jed committed suicide
at the University of Arizona in Tucson, she and her husband decided
that services to help their son and others was almost nonexistent
on many college campuses. They created Ulifeline.org, a
web site dedicated to college students and their mental health.
The plan calls for customizing a website for each college campus
which will only be available to the college community via password.
It will be anonymous, and will contain a self-screening questionnaire
(developed at Duke University), a place to ask questions of mental
health professionals, link directly to appointments, have a dialogue
and have access to a mental health library (Harvard Medical School).
is to provide a safety net for students at risk and to reduce
the suicide rate in people 18-24. The Jed Foundation, only one
year old, has just raised one million dollars and already has
customized websites for 60 colleges.
Satow has pulled together a series of experts including lawyers,
psychiatrists and college presidents to come up with a blueprint
for suicide prevention. The Satows are also developing a Parents
Program to assist families of students who may need help currently
enrolled in university or those soon to enter.
When asked what parents can do to help their children, Satow responded,
“They should ask what safety net your child’s college has and
the services available, ‘just in case.’” Parents should know about
mental health services and be alert for warning signs.
Ron Gibori, the fraternity president who was a friend of Jed’s
now runs the Ulifeline.org website. He can be reached at
For more information about the Jed Foundation contact www.jedfoundation.org
or www.ulifeline.org or email: emailus@the jedfoundation.org.
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