Our Campus. Our Mental Health.

Letter from the President and Executive Editor

Why we are devoting a day of coverage to mental health

In our three-and-a-half years working at The Daily Pennsylvanian, close to 10 students have died by suicide, a statistic as remarkable to write as it is now commonplace to hear across campus. With each email from some Penn administrator, we have grown to numb ourselves to feeling pain, to mourning the death of someone close to us, to finally attaching a name to the problem of mental illness endemic to so many at Penn.

Mental health is an intensely personal topic, shaped inexorably by the circumstances, preferences and lifestyle of an individual person. A conversation about mental health can take a variety of forms. What it cannot tolerate is silence.

For months, the DP and Street have been coordinating a day completely devoted to coverage of mental health.

By no less than a happy accident, the publication of our special issue on mental health falls on the same day as a “Campus Conversation” organized by Penn administrators to discuss “what we can do, individually and collectively, to take care of ourselves and others and to foster individual and community resilience.”

In announcing the event, Penn officials wrote, “A community that values wellness, community support, and resilience is best poised to find creative and constructive solutions to our challenges.” We could not agree more with the spirit of this statement and hope that in these pieces, interested readers can find a multitude of ways to begin confronting those difficult, necessary challenges.


Carter Coudriet, President
Dan Spinelli, Executive Editor

Content on this page was created by the staff of The Daily Pennsylvanian and 34th Street Magazine. Page by Andrew Fischer and Brady Africk


From athletes stacked with hectic schedules to LGBTQ students navigating specific the social dynamics of Grindr, here are some of the real stories that describe how students think about their mental health.

The Administration

Penn administrators have worked to improve policies surrounding mental health, but gaps still exist. These articles examine the policies that are in place, how they serve students, how they don’t and whether they’re enough.


The University has a range of resources available for students looking to improve their mental wellness, but they can be difficult to navigate. Here’s a guide on where to go.


A hyper-competitive, pre-professional culture is just one of the many factors that make Penn stressful. From music to (free) yoga, find ways to take care of yourself on campus.

The Administration

Why Penn's lack of details after a student death can add a burden for those most intimately affected

“It is important that the death be addressed openly and directly. After a suicide, once the basic facts are known, any attempt to delay informing students will only encourage rumors.”

'Alone in my grief': why some students are left to mourn alone when a classmate dies

When former College student Aran Rana of the Class of 2019 died in Hong Kong this year, his closest friends found out in the same way and at the same time that over 10,000 other undergraduates did: five paragraphs in an email notification from the University.

Snow | Penn Athletics must allow a conversation on mental health and wellness

Student-athletes at Penn have some of the hardest jobs in the world. They wake up early. They practice in the evenings so they have to stay up late to work. They sometimes have to cut or gain significant weight in a short period of time. They get injured — and they often play through it. They get concussions, and later in their lives, many of them suffer long-term consequences from it.

Competitive culture and administrative delays: Students dissect challenges to mental wellness at Penn

The forum was held at the Civic House on Oct. 25 amid other initiatives to talk about mental health at Penn, including a University-wide survey and "campus conversation."

Guest Column by Edward Jing | We need to address club recruitment processes

The club recruitment process is one of the first stressors that new students encounter when they arrive at Penn, and it has wide-ranging effects on both student life and mental health.

How Penn's mental health efforts have evolved in the past 70 years

While many students today will recognize mental health as one of the perennial topics of conversation within the student body and between students and the administration, few will know Penn's long history with the issue. To provide some context for where the University stands today, The Daily Pennsylvanian put together a timeline of the major decisions that have shaped mental health at Penn.

Isabella Simonetti | Addressing the anxieties of the transition to college

How is a freshman supposed to make sense of all the tragedy that has struck Penn? And how can they ensure that they will be immune to the mental health issues that plague its campus?