Yale Changes Its Mental Health Policy, Students in Mental Crisis Allowed to Take Days Off

United States North America Higher Education News by Erudera News Jan 24, 2023

Yale University street signs

Yale University has announced changes to its mental health policy to support students in their battle with mental health. The new changes include allowing students struggling with mental health to take a break and return to campus when they feel ready instead of withdrawing.

Under the new changes, students are allowed to take up to four terms of leaves which are usually approved, provided that a student leaves with good academic results at the end of a semester and returns at the beginning of a term, Erudera.com reports.

According to the reformed policy, students who want to take time off should make a request to the Committee on Honors and Academic Standing through their residential college dean.

“For a fall term leave of absence, students must submit a petition by May 1; late requests will be accepted up to the fifteenth day of the fall term. For a spring term leave of absence, petitions must be received by the fifteenth day of the spring term,” the new regulation states.

In an email to students obtained by The Washington Post, Dean of Yale College Pericles Lewis said that the school wants to make clear to students that their main priority in mental health crisis should be mental health, adding that Yale also wants to ensure everyone is able to continue their education.

“I hope these revised policies ease any concerns about your student status, allowing you (and the people supporting you) to focus on what is important,” he told students.

These changes come a month after students filed a lawsuit against Yale University, claiming that the school has discriminated against students dealing with mental illness by pushing them to withdraw from school while they are experiencing a mental health crisis and failing to provide them with the appropriate support.

In a November response to the Yale community’s concerns about the university’s mental health policy following media reports that students struggling with their mental health were pressured to withdraw, President Peter Salovey said that Yale students’ health and well-being are the priority of the university.

He said that Yale had been reviewing its withdrawal and reinstatement policies since September 2022, when a Committee of Yale College student affairs professionals and experts of mental health started meeting to make changes in this regard in order to continue supporting students.

A nationwide survey by TimelyMD suggests there might be a mental health crisis on college campuses in the United States, according to the students’ answers. About 80 percent of students said there is a mental health crisis on campus, 71 percent reported stress, anxiety, and depression, while 78 percent said they continue to deal with the same level of stress and anxiety as last year.

>> Survey: 54% Of US Loan Borrowers Reported Experiencing Mental Health Issues Due to Their Student Debt

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