To all who have posted about Hale Ross, let me say that my son died by suicide while a freshman at Yale. I appreciate the thoughtful remarks about the difficulties and pressures of college life, especially at top schools. I want to add a few thoughts that may help some of you process this and perhaps make a difference in others' lives. Suicide is unthinkable in circumstances where a person seems to have it all--as my son did--looks, charm, energy, intelligence, and cool factor. It simply does not occur to anyone that suicide is possible--except people who are trained to understand the risk, This is what I learned in the most dreadful way possible--a true clinical depression can take a person down and do so astonishingly fast. in fact, an untreated deep, clinical depression of just two weeks places a person at risk of suicide. If you or someone you know goes through some major changes (poor grooming, changed diet, changed sleep patterns, a loss of lightness and ease, criticism of himself/herself, and comments about feeling hopeless or like things are not worth the effort), do not ignore this. Do not be afraid to ask if the person has considered harming himself or herself. This does not increase the risk of suicide, but rather makes it safe to speak truthfully. Be calm and do not be judgmental. Do not try to cheer someone up. This is way beyond, "things will get better," or "I support you." If you are truly concerned someone is at risk of suicide, reach out for help from a trusted agent--parents, professor, TA, the mental health center. I truly believe that if someone had done this, my son would be alive. Clinical depression is treatable. While I admire the doctor who posted about the difficulties of being from a poor family, depression really doesn't care if you are rich or poor, have a supportive family or not. My son was totally aware of the many gifts and blessings in his life, but depression swallowed him up. If you want an understanding of this, please watch this compelling lecture by Stanford professor Robert Sapolsky on suicide. Last few comments: please learn about suicide, its risks, and the realities associated with it. You can find a great deal of information at the AFSP website and the NAMI website. For those of you who have any control or influence on campuses, please research the excellent work Cornell has done on teaching staff (ALL staff) to recognize danger signs. Do not inherently trust any mental health expert your friends or family members may see. While many are excellent, there are some incompetent people out there (I can't elaborate, but trust me on this one). If the person receiving care is not improving, keep looking for a service provider who can help that person make strides. One poster said that suicide has long-lasting effects. Nothing could be more true. I was told after my son died that a suicide is much like a bomb that is detonated, with the highest impact on the family and closest friends but with concentric circles of impact reaching far and wide. My prayers are with this young man's family. They are in for the fight of their lives as they grapple with this terrible loss. Thank you to all of you for being civil and human on this topic.