Rape Survivor Protests Treatment with Art Project, and Other News

Columbia University LibraryEmma Sulkowicz, a senior visual arts major at Columbia University, says she was raped by Jean-Paul Nungesser, another Columbia student. At least two other women have filed complaints against Nungesser, but he continues to attend classes as the school investigates the allegations. Sulkowicz has begun carrying her twin mattress with her to protest her treatment and draw attention to rape on campus. The protest, which began earlier this week, doubles as her senior art project, and has already gained significant media attention.

Columbia University has a history of drawing student ire for the way it handles rape and sexual assault cases. In 1999, students used red tape to protest the school’s handling of rape cases. Twenty-three students, including Sulkowicz, have filed a Title IX claim against Columbia. The students allege that the school covers up rape and allows serial rapists to continue victimizing students.

Treating Mental Illness Is a Global Task, Say Experts

The United Nation’s eight Millennium Development Goals (MDG) aim to tackle poverty and global health challenges. Even though depression is now the second leading cause of disability worldwide, though, the MDGs do not specifically target mental health issues. In 2015, the MDGs will be replaced by Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). An international group of 13 psychiatrists is working together to highlight mental health issues and encourage the UN to prioritize mental health in its SDGs.

Beauty Brand ‘Philosophy’ Supports Mental Health With New Initiative

Skin care company ‘philosophy,’ widely known for its cleverly named products, announced in July its plans to raise money for community mental health centers. By January 2015, the company plans to donate 1% of its sales earnings to community mental health initiatives by funding various grants. The average grant amount will be $25,000, and the company plans to prioritize mental health organizations that cater to women. The first grant has already been awarded to Glenn Close’s anti-stigma organization, Bring Change 2 Mind.

After Robin Williams’ Death, San Francisco Launches New Mental Health Phone Line

People experiencing mental health difficulties may need help even if they’re not suicidal or in active crisis. In an attempt to aid these people, San Francisco has launched a mental health “warm line” designed to help callers avoid mental health crises. The warm line is intended to serve 20,000 callers in its first four years of operation, and is staffed by trained peer counselors.

Copycat Effect Evident Following Media Coverage of a Celebrity Suicide

Media reports of suicide may increase suicide risk, according to a study of suicide coverage in South Korea. Researchers found that the number of suicide articles increased 80-fold following a high-profile suicide. Coverage often violated the World Health Organization’s guidelines on suicide reporting by, for example, providing details of the suicide method. Researchers estimate that this led to 430 additional suicides in the four weeks following a high-profile suicide.

Stress, Family Conflicts Before Cancer Surgery Raise Patients’ Complication Risk

According to a study of 430 people receiving treatment for colon cancer, family stress can affect recovery. Thirteen percent of participants had a “quality of life deficit.” Three times as many patients in this group as in the entire group experienced serious complications.

Risk of Diabetes in Children and Adolescents Exposed to Antipsychotics: A Nationwide 12-Year Case-Control Study

According to a 12-year study of nearly 50,000 children, antipsychotic drugs may increase the risk of developing diabetes. Researchers found that the diabetes risk among children and teens who took antipsychotics was .72%, compared to .27% among those who did not take antipsychotics.


Brooks, M. (2013, November 6). Depression now world’s second leading cause of disability. Retrieved from http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/813896

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  • Leave a Comment
  • June


    September 5th, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    Good for Emma!
    her voice and the voices of so many other colleg aged women who experience this tragedy in their lives deserve to be heard and if this is what it takes for people to realize just how serious this is, then so be it!
    I hope that other young women on that campus and colleges around the country start to engage once again and yell from the rafters just how wrong this sort of treatment is.

  • Mena


    September 5th, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    It seems that mental illness is like this taboo thing that no one really wants to talk about and I don’t understand why given that there are so many people who suffer from it and in all likelihood every single one if us knows someone who has dealt with this in their lifetime. There is nothing to be ashamed of, it can happen to any of us, but what good is it going to do for any of us if we continue to ignore the fact that it is there?

  • faith


    September 7th, 2014 at 5:26 AM

    I knew I loved Philosophy products and now this makes me love them even more!

  • Scott


    September 7th, 2014 at 4:48 PM

    It must be really hard for patients who are already having to deal with a critical illness like cancer to also know that there is so much conflict that is present in their home lives as well. This is something that takes way too much energy to battle so they don’t need to have to exert that much energy into solving petty problems with family. I know that we all have issues with our loved ones, but there is a time when you have to let some of that go, and if you have someone close to you who is struggling and fighting for their lives, then this would certainly qualify as a time to let it go.

  • thorne


    September 8th, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    What are schools supposed to do? How you can throw a student out until they have gone through the justice system? I guess they could be thrown out for some sort of honor code violation until it makes it through the courts?

  • Tate


    September 9th, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    How do we know that the copycat effect is actually accurate and that these are cases that would have happened anyway regardless of the celebrity events that only seem to have spurred them? I guess that there is a lot of evidence to back this up but I would like to know how exactly you can determine that the things are related unless there is some kind of note or indication that the prior veent is what was driving this.

  • perrin


    September 13th, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    Kudos to SF!! Great news for those in the Bay area

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