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Ask The Experts

Is My Roommate Cutting?


I don’t know my new roommate that well, but I’m worried because I’ve noticed she spends a lot of time in the bathroom and has cuts that she covers up with clothes. Should I say something or tell someone?

Janis Whitlock, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Cornell University College of Human Ecology answers:

Yes, in this situation telling someone is a very good idea. I would especially encourage you to talk to someone who is likely to know how to get your roommate the help she needs — like an RA or residence hall director. If you are unable or uncomfortable doing this, you can call the counseling and psychological services office on your campus and explain the situation to them – they will be able to help.

Regardless of how uncomfortable the situation makes you, reaching out to someone who knows how to help your roommate is definitely the right thing to do since she is showing you clear signs that she cannot help herself. Thanks for having the courage to do something to help.