Policy changes will take place after two months. Washington Post story They were pressured by Yale administrators to withdraw after the university learned of their mental health problems, and were then forced to reapply to be admitted again.
This article is based on the testimonies of more than 25 current and former students who said the university, which has raised $41.4 billion in endowments, has endorsed inadequate services and punitive policies for people in emotional crisis. criticized for being plagued by Many students said they avoided counseling and hid their suicidal thoughts for fear of being expelled.
After publishing the novel alumni and faculty I have alerted Yale administrators and requested a change. Current/former students in November filed a lawsuit He accused the school of systematically discriminating against students with mental illness and forcing them to drop out.
In a phone interview, Lewis said Yale University “want to make it clear to students that mental health must be the number one priority when dealing with mental health issues. We want to ensure that they can continue their education.”
The goal of the new policy is to “make it possible for people to return seamlessly” by avoiding treating students taking a leave of absence for health reasons in the same way as students with discipline issues. be.
In an email to students, Lewis wrote that the change was made after “listening to current and former students and collaborating with colleagues across the university,” adding that he “has shared his experiences with his past and colleagues.” I am grateful to the many current students.
Addressing all students in crisis, he said:
In the past, many students who committed suicide or had mental health problems said they were forced to drop out by Yale administrators, sometimes while in hospital. I had to leave and was forbidden to set foot on campus without the express permission of the dean.
In an interview with The Post, several students who relied on Yale health insurance said they were unable to get treatment and health care when they needed it most.
Policy changes announced Wednesday are reversed Most of those conventions.
By allowing students in crisis to take a leave of absence rather than expulsion, university officials say they will continue to have access to health insurance through Yale. They can continue to work as student staff, meet career advisors, access campus, and use library resources.
New Haven and Connecticut are home to most of the health care providers in the Yale system, so finding ways to keep health insurance for students will have to overcome major logistical and financial hurdles. There was, said Mr. Lewis. But under the new policy, students on vacation can switch to “affiliate compensation,” which covers out-of-network care in other states.
In recent weeks, students and psychiatric advocates have questioned why Yale University will not allow classes to be reduced for students struggling with mental health issues. can now reduce the course load to 2 classes. However, students need significant time for treatment and can only do so if their petition is approved.
In the past, expelled students had to submit an application for reinstatement. This included a letter of recommendation and evidence that he had been “constructively busy” during his leave of absence. Under the new policy, students returning from medical leave will include a letter from their doctor and a personal statement explaining why they left, the treatment they received, and why they feel ready to return. Submit a simple request for reinstatement.
In its latest online policy, the university still retains the right to impose involuntary medical leave on students when there is a “significant risk to the health or safety of the student or to the health or safety of others.” made it clear that there is
The change was announced one day before Yale University officials were scheduled to meet for settlement negotiations with a group of current and former students who have filed a proposed class action lawsuit against the university and demanded policy changes. it was done.
In a statement, one of the plaintiffs — a nonprofit called Rachel’s EliseLed by a former Yale student, we thank Yale for taking this first step. But even if Yale got a reputation for its research on mental health, it would be imperfect at best. “
The two sides met once on January 9.
“Both parties continue to engage in settlement talks…many issues need to be addressed,” said Monica Porter, one of the attorneys representing the students. Bazelon Mental Health Law Center“I hope we can have a productive conversation.”
But after decades of mental health advocacy that has seen little change at colleges, some students said they were surprised by the changes Yale had already made.
“I never really expected anything like this to happen while I was here,” said Akweley Mazarae Lartey, a Yale senior who has advocated for spiritual rights throughout her time there. “I started thinking about all the situations that I and the people I know ended up in and how quickly these policies could have been used.”
Lartey, leader of a group of students with disabilities rights called DEFY, recalled how many times he was disappointed with Yale University whenever he struggled with mental health. lost [a] Leave of absence. I no longer have access to medications or treatments. So instead of getting help, things got even more difficult,” he said. “It was hard coming back. What I want is more than a change in policy, a change in culture and attitudes, so that students in need are supported rather than punished.” is to become.”