Lost On The Campus

More mentally ill students can cope with college. But what happens to the ones who can't?

Thoughts of suicide haunted Anita Rutnam long before she arrived at Syracuse University. The Winchester, Mass., teenager had a history of mental illness and had even attempted to kill herself. During her junior year of college, she tried again. On a February morning in 1998, just days after a campus counselor recommended she be hospitalized for her suicidal tendencies, Rutnam threw herself off the eighth floor of a Syracuse dormitory and fell 90 ft. to the patio below.

Miraculously, she survived the plunge. But three years later, Rutnam still feels the effects of that day. She walks with a limp,...

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