Murphy: CWRU needs suicide crisis chat line

To the editor,

I’m writing to respond to your article, “Suicide prevention grant shines light on campus mental health,” Nov. 6, 2015.

Suicide prevention requires much more than funding; it requires training. Case Western Reserve University was incredibly fortunate to receive the SAMHSA grant. As a suicide crisis hotline responder, I took special interest in how it would be used. As you may or may not know, CWRU has a counselor on call, but not its own suicide crisis hotline. Those in need can call a variety of local and national hotlines. However I believe the CWRU community would greatly benefit from a campus suicide crisis chat line.

Unlike a phone crisis line, a chat line allows the person in crisis an additional sense of security and anonymity. IMAlive, the suicide crisis line I volunteer with, even removed their phone line in order to focus on the chat line; it was much more popular. CWRU students that felt uncomfortable admitting suicidal thoughts aloud would find solace in a campus chat line.

This inspired me to contact the head of the CWRU suicide prevention initiative, doctors Sara Lee and Eleanor Davidson. They supported my proposition of a suicide crisis chat line on campus. We plan on working together in the future to initiate a campus line and train student responders. Not only would the persons in crisis benefit, students would also be able to become directly involved in supporting positive mental health on campus. I believe this would be an excellent way to simultaneously support students considering suicide and continue eliminating stigma at CWRU.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) on campus has also expressed interest in forwarding the suicide prevention grant initiative. As the public relations chair for NAMI at CWRU, I have a unique and bridged perspective. I am able to support both NAMI’s hopes for the initiatives and my own. My personal goal is the implementation of a crisis chat line at CWRU. I would love to speak to any interested volunteers about the process of becoming a certified responder. They may contact me at

Thank you for taking the time to address the issue of mental health at CWRU.

Kaitlin Murphy
Third-year student
NAMI on Campus CWRU PR Chair
IMAlive Suicide Crisis Hotline Responder