A recent article in Newsweek “How Colleges Flunk Mental Health” highlights the problem many students with mental health needs have on college campuses. Most lifetime cases of mental health disorders begin by young adulthood, and more than ever before sudents with mental health challenges are able to attend college, often with the support of psychotherapy or pharmacological intervention. At the same time, the article points out that some administrations are worried about potential liability, the college or university becoming known as a “suicide school,” and the overall safety of the community. As a result, students may become disciplined and be asked to take an involuntary leave of absence from the program or leave their college housing. This could make some students less willing to seek help in the first place.
Excerpt from article:
“One night in 2012, alone in his dorm room at Princeton University, Dan downed 20 Trazodone, his prescribed antidepressant. He had recently switched medication and was experiencing rapid mood swings; a fight with his girlfriend and a tense email exchange with a friend led him to overdose, which Dan says he knew was “ridiculous” even as he swallowed the pills. Dan tried to make himself throw up the Trazodone but couldn’t, so he went to Princeton’s health center. They sent him to a nearby hospital, where doctors determined he didn’t pose an imminent risk of harm to himself or others but kept him for three days to monitor his health. As Dan prepared to leave the hospital to attend a class, the director of student life left a voicemail message on his mother’s cell phone: Dan had been evicted from his dorm room, banned from attending classes, and was prohibited from setting foot on campus.”