Kaitlyn Lives On in the Lives of Others

I heard tonight from one of the deans of Wake Forest Med that have kept in touch with us since Kaitlyn’s death. There were two deans of the school that met with us at Kaitlyn’s apartment on that tragic day a year ago. Both have been very supportive throughout this year.

After Kaitlyn’s death the student body and staff were all changed. They realize just how important it is for students to ask for help if they are depressed and also to watch each other more carefully.

More has been done at the school now to make it easier for students to seek help and for them to feel comfortable seeking help. They hired another psychologist and along with Kaitlyn’s Memorial fund for their wellness center, changes are being made.

After many months of consideration and talking with the class of 2015 (which would have been the class Kaitlyn graduated medical school with) they decided her self-portrait would serve the best purpose of being in one of these dean’s offices where he counsels those students that come in for help with depression. In the last 2 weeks over a dozen students have come to him needing this help and they get help. Since Kaitlyn’s death, getting help for these students is more urgent than ever as they know what can happen to someone suffering from depression.

He said when students come in with problems, he will tell them of the young woman in the self-portrait and why it is hanging there. In that way they will know the importance of seeking help.

I can’t help but believe that Kaitlyn is smiling down on this change.

Below is the original self-portrait that Kaitlyn drew when she was 18. As it now hangs in my living room. A copy of it will now hang forever at Wake Forest School of Medicine.


About gatito2

My name is Rhonda. I'm a registered nurse, for the last 20 years, that has not been able to work since the day I learned of my daughter's death by suicide 4-12-13. (She actually died 4-11-13 and her body was not found until the 12th) Me and my husband have been married for 32 years and he's a wonderful man. We grieve in different ways. He works, I write. This is my journey through this horrible land of losing a child..
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6 Responses to Kaitlyn Lives On in the Lives of Others

  1. jmgoyder says:

    Kaitlyn does indeed live on – this is wonderful.


  2. gatito2 says:

    Yes she does. Thank you.


  3. AnnetteM says:

    It must be a comfort to you. I hope the changes spread to other medical schools and other universities. Things are improving over here with regards to being more understanding of depression and mental illness, but there is still some way to go.


  4. gatito2 says:

    Yes, in some places the wheels are starting to move a little, but there is much left to be done. I hope many wheels are set in motion.


  5. Pam Thompson says:

    What a wonderful idea and thoughtful use of Katelyn’s self-portrait. It is heartening to hear that changes are being implemented to help students with depression and/or at risk.


  6. gatito2 says:

    It is a great idea and I’m so glad it’s being done.


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