Yale University has been accused of not doing enough to support the mental health of its students after a woman who attempted suicide spoke out about the trauma inflicted on her by university rules.
The female sophomore, known only as S., shared: The Washington Post that she struggled with rape during her stay at Yale, at home during summer vacation, early 2021.
In June 2021, she overdosed on pills and remembered coming over to her and thinking, ‘What if Yale finds out?’
Yale’s policy is that students who are considered suicidal are not allowed on campus and must be cared for at home, the paper reported.
To return to class, they must reapply – write an essay and send letters of recommendation.
Until April of this year, they also had to be interviewed by Yale officials and prove their academic worth by taking two courses at another four-year university.
Those who left for mental health reasons also had to demonstrate to Yale that they had addressed their issues, the paper reported.
Yale denied that students were pressured to leave and said the students “almost always” make the decision themselves.
“Sometimes students take time away from the daily pressures that come with an academic environment and devote all the attention and as much time as it takes to recovery,” said Karen Peart, a university spokeswoman.
She told DailyMail.com: ‘It is almost always the students themselves who make that decision; it is rare for students to have to make time.
“In these cases, Yale has policies that facilitate a medical withdrawal followed by a return to campus life.
“Medical withdrawal symptoms allow students to take time away from Yale to focus on their well-being. The vast majority of students who go through medical withdrawal recover and return to successfully complete their degrees.”
Yale has reported an “explosion” in mental health demand, with the number of students seeking treatment rising 90 percent in 2021 from 2015. On Friday, The Washington Post spoke to dozens of students who said there are no enough was done, despite the university’s $41 billion endowment
Luchang Wang, a 20-year-old math student, died by suicide in 2015 and said she was terrified of leaving Yale.
S.’s suicide attempt followed two other high-profile cases at the Connecticut institution.
In 2015, Luchang Wang, a 20-year-old math major, jumped to her death from the Golden Gate Bridge after leaving a note saying she was terrified at the prospect of not being re-admitted to Yale.
“Dear Yale, I loved being here. I wish I could have had some time,” she wrote.
“I needed time to work things out and wait for new drugs to come, but I couldn’t do it in school, and I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving for a whole year, or going away and never being re-admitted.” . Love, Luchang.’
In March 2021, a second student, Rachael Shaw-Rosenbaum, committed suicide on campus after pondering the ramifications of withdrawing from school, her family said.
A freshman at university, she struggled with isolation during the pandemic, was hospitalized with mental health issues – but was haunted by the thought of being forced to withdraw and losing her seat.
“I’ve attempted suicide 3 times in the past 3 days and haven’t stopped,” she wrote on Reddit on March 16, 2021.
‘What shall I do? If I go to the hospital again this year, I will be academically withdrawn from my university…’
Rachael Shaw-Rosenbaum, 20, of Anchorage, Alaska, committed suicide on campus in March 2021
Twenty-five students interviewed by The Washington Post said that with a $41.4 billion endowment, the university had enough money, but was not spending it on necessary mental health care.
Some said they sought help from Yale advisers but never heard back. Others said appointments were so scarce that they had to wait weeks for a 30-minute session.
“It actually just made things worse,” says Shayna Sragovicz, 22, a senior.
“Because you open a can of worms in people’s psyches and then don’t give them room to work through it.”
Others said they had come to the conclusion that it was better to keep their mental health problems and suicidal thoughts to themselves, to avoid a withdrawal policy.
“It’s the exact opposite of what you’d want to happen,” says Miriam Kopyto, 22, senior and leader of the Yale Student Mental Health Association.
Pam Shaw, mother of Rachael Shaw-Rosenbaum, is seen at a wake for her daughter on April 3, 2021
Paul Hoffman, the psychologist responsible for student mental health at Yale, pointed out that the university was facing an “explosion” in the demand for mental health resources.
The number of students seeking treatment in 2021 was up 90 percent from 2015, with 5,000 seeking help.
“It’s like nothing we’ve ever seen before,” he said.
Paul Hoffman, the psychologist responsible for student mental health at Yale, said more resources were being devoted to mental health
The Ivy League college’s reputation also demands excellence from its students: 34 percent of Yale’s 14,500 students seek mental health help from college counselors, compared to a national average of 11 percent at other universities, The Washington Post reported.
Every Ivy League school, except Yale and Brown, has joined a four-year program from the Jed Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works on suicide prevention and mental health support for young people.
The program aims to improve mental health policies.
More than 400 colleges have enrolled in the Jed program, said Nance Roy, the foundation’s chief clinical officer.
“I’m not sure why Yale didn’t join,” says Roy, who also works as an assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale.
“I’ve had conversations with them and even talked to the president and others about it at one point.
“I don’t think they’re ignoring the problem. But they do their own thing.’
In a written statement, Yale spokeswoman Karen Peart said, “The college regularly reviews all of its policies in an effort to best serve our students.”
Yale says it has hired six more counselors and now has more than 50 working with their students.
The university now allows students to participate in group therapy sessions in addition to individual counseling.
Hoffman said the majority of students can now get therapy appointments in as little as two weeks, and Yale plans to increase mental health resources.
“Yale has been very committed to mental health resources,” he said.
Still, S. said she only served the experience to magnify her trauma.
“I feel so much pressure right now. Like I can’t slip,” she said.
“Like I have to be extraordinary for Yale to remember why they let me in in the first place.”
In July, she learned that she had been rehired and could return to university.
But she remained angry with her treatment.
“They never asked what they could do to help with sexual assault and PTSD. No question about how Yale can support you. They didn’t consider who I was and what I needed,” she said.
“Their only concern was that I was leaving.”
Yale told DailyMail.com that The Washington Post’s story was misleading.
“Recent statements in the Washington Post do not accurately reflect Yale’s commitment to the safety and well-being of our students and the community,” Peart said.
“The health and safety of Yale’s students and community members is the university’s highest priority.”
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