A 19 year old track and cross country runner at Penn committed suicide by jumping off the roof of a parking garage. Madison Holleran was in the middle of her freshman year at Penn when she decided to end her life due to what her father called “self-induced” stressed of keeping good grades at the Ivy League School.
Via IB Times:
According to NorthJersey.com, Holleran jumped off the roof of a parking garage Friday night. Just an hour earlier, the Allendale, N.J., native reportedly posted a photo of the lights at Rittenhouse Square in Center City Philadelphia on her Instagram account.
Holleran was a soccer and track star in her hometown at Northern Highlands Regional High School and called a “perfectionist” by her father, Jim Holleran. He also said she had “grown depressed” while adjusting to college life away from home.
“At the end of high school and going to Penn, she was the happiest girl on the planet. It was easy for her in high school,” Holleran told the New York Post. “There was a lot more pressure in the classroom at Penn. She wasn’t normal, happy Madison. Now she had worries and stress.”
Holleran said his daughter expressed thoughts of suicide in December and was seeing a therapist.
“My daughter’s stress was self-induced, and although we had started her in therapy to address her issues, she hid the severity of those issues from everyone,” he said. “We knew she needed help. She knew she needed help. She had lost confidence in academics, and she also lost confidence in her track abilities.”
Holleran said he was in contact with his daughter Friday night and instructed her to make an emergency appointment with her therapist for an anti-depressant medication.
“I was worried about her, so I texted her that she needed to see the therapist. She said she would,” he said, adding that Madison had been considering transferring to a different school.
The Post reported Madison Holleran reportedly left a note and gifts for her family on top of the parking garage. However, her father did not describe the note or the gifts to The Post.
This is terribly sad news. Society puts so much pressure on young women to be beautiful and smart, essentially perfect. It’s unfortunate that Holleran couldn’t receive the help she needed and that she felt her life wasn’t worth anything because her grades slipped. It’s also unfortunate how society shames victims of mental illnesses like depression to the point where they try to hide the severity of their pain. Prayers go out to her friends and family.