Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Problem Persists - Suicides and Student Loan Debt

Since I am going through old posts to wrap up the final chapters of my book, I am reminded of the work I did before anyone else was talking about the student loan debt crisis. So much has changed since I began this project over 6 years ago! 

The below link is to my interview on NPR in the summer of 2012. It is about the suicides related to student loan debt. The topic still has relevance as a specific chapter of my book details this serious mental health issue. 

As I said, if you are interested in listening, I've posted the link below. I myself was going through a major change, a life changing event, one that proved to be incredibly painful and laden with tremendous personal loss, and so I wasn't even sure I could bring myself to go to the radio studio and discuss such a heavy and emotionally difficult topic. But I knew I had to do it, so I did.


Anonymous said...

It's not necessarily true that the high debt burden accumulated during law school is driving individuals to suicide. I know for a fact that some of these kids, specially in these 3T, 4T and unranked diploma mills, are already damaged goods before they enter law school. There are many cases of mentally and emotionally disturbed people who attend law school, and more so as of late with the lowering of admission standards. Some of these people have conditions such as alcoholism, substance abuse, mental deficiencies that are likely to deteriorate as time goes by. In other words, they are ticking time bombs and the stress caused by the high debt burden and lack of any means to repay it back, only ads to the deterioration of mental conditions that precede their admission to law school.

Anonymous said...

<3 thank you, Cryn.

Over the past several years, this blog has been one of the only things that has kept my thoughts from getting too dark. Someone out there knew what I was going through, she didn't blame me for it and she was speaking up about it. You gave me hope. Your personal sacrifices to report the truth have made a world of difference in the lives of those who have suffered as a result of this injustice.


Cryn Johannsen said...

Thanks, B. This space has always been intended to offer support as well as hope. And now I am wrapping up my book - the finish line is within sight. I can't believe it. As you probably know, the publication date will be May 31st. This is the next step forward in pushing for more serious higher education reform, especially for those of us who carry the burden of debt.

Cryn Johannsen said...

@10:15 well, you're wrong. I've discussed this matter with experts in the field of psychology and it is clear that financial strain leads to suicide - there is a correlation. Not only that, your language is fraught with problems, namely how judgmental it is. So, I'll just leave it at that. I mean "damaged goods," for real? Get out of town with that nonsense.

Also, to be clear, I am not referring to just law students - my work is about ALL student loan debtors. And people shouldn't ever be referred to as "damaged goods." That is just an awful thing to say about other people.

Ophelia said...

i went to grad school for english with a strong tech background. in 1999 i left to start working for the tech industry for good money. a year later, the dot com bubble burst and suddenly i had no work--none at all in that recession. even work i had relied on for years to pay my way through undergrad with no loans i could not find. i would have walked dogs--nothing. so with 60k in student loan debt already, i went back for a second graduate degree, this time (after much consulting with friends) in a different field i thought i would excel at. i graduated from a private college with, at this point, about 150k in student loan debt. tuition rates had more than doubled while i was still in school; i was faced with either taking on more debt and graduating, or dropping out with no degree and no prospects for a professional future, making paying back that debt that much harder. i hung onto faith somehow i would repay it. i found a well-paying job. then the second recession hit in 2008. i lost the job, and again i couldn't find another one. i worked part-time and relied on deferments for a while, but after being out of my field for some time, and facing intense competition from new grads being hatched out at a rate far exceeding the market, i couldn't get back on my feet. i was very talented and passionate about my field, but none of that mattered. i was ethical and hard-working, but none of that mattered. there was a time when a college education mattered; today it's just a scam. you need one to get into certain fields, true. but the cost is just not worth the investment, not worth the debt. i counseled my kids to get a trade and if they wanted to, if they could, work their way and pay their way through college; do NOT take out loans under ANY circumstances. meanwhile i live close to the poverty level after working my ass off my entire life.