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Don’t be afraid to talk

Claire Mattison | Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Thank you for publishing the editorial “We, as a community, need to talk” last Friday (Apr. 9). Things like depression and sexual assault are so personal — most people do not know how to talk about them. I still have trouble talking about depression, even though I had a friend attempt suicide in high school. After Sean’s death I wanted to write in, but I did not know what to say. However, I have realized it does not matter if I say the perfect thing. What matters is that I say something.

Much of what I heard after Sean’s death was about how suicide is rare at Notre Dame. Yes, it is rare here, but suicide and depression are not absent on campus, and suicide is preventable. My dad told me in high school, “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.” It is an act that cannot be reversed. Our community has lost Sean forever.

However, Notre Dame can learn from Sean’s death. We cannot bring him back, but we might be able to show someone else, another member of our community who is struggling, that they are loved. We can open a dialogue on this issue, since it is an issue that everyone can relate to. We all feel sad sometimes. I know I have, but I managed to find strength through the support of my friends and family to get through those times. I am so grateful for that strength. Life is full of surprises and can change so quickly. As dark as it sometimes seems, it gets so much better.

So to all my friends here on campus, please know that I love all of you and appreciate your friendship more than I can express. To all those people I do not know on campus, I care about you too. I wish all the happiness in the world for you. So please, if you are feeling sad, depressed, down, lonely, stressed or all of the above, don’t be afraid to talk to someone. Chances are they need to talk to someone as well.

Claire Mattison


Pasquerilla East Hall

Apr. 11