Mentally Ill Students Say Universities are Leaving Them Behind


“When Stanford student ‘Emily W.’ attempted suicide in 2013, a representative of the elite California university ‘told her she was “a liability,” and “people like you tend not to succeed,” or words to that effect’ before revoking her housing and forcing her to take a leave of absence, according to a complaint filed last month in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The suit, filed by the Berkeley-based Disability Rights Advocates (DRA), seeks class-action status for students like ‘Emily’ affected by what DRA calls ‘discriminatory policies and practices’ that have made it hard for them to thrive at one of the most prestigious universities in the United States. It could have big implications for the way universities handle mental health crises and students in need of support in the future.”

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  1. Sounds like what happened to me. Only I never attempted suicide. The dorm mom “educated” the others about how sick, crazy and dangerous I was. Never invited me to these meetings for some reason. She told them not to talk to me; only licensed professionals could talk to people like me. Then she kicked me out. Said my drug-induced Parkinson’s proved I wasn’t taking my “meds.”

    I was “meds compliant” for over 20 years, btw. Big reason I’m so puny now.

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  2. The title is unfortunate. These are not “mentally ill students,” they are any student whose behavior is sufficiently inconvenient or uncomfortable for the college to deal with. Better to excise the “problem students” than to examine the conditions in the university or our culture as a whole that lead students to a sense of despair.

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  3. I was an older part time student at one of the universities here in Baltimore, for 12 years. I was an undergrad, and had I gotten the B.S. degree I had done more than enough work for, it would have been my first. During the years in which I slaved methodcally away, I simply had faith that someday I would graduate. It wasn’t until graduation was imminent for me that I learned the administration had no intention of allowing me to graduate. They simply did not hold up their end of the bargain. I’m now bitterly sorry I ever thought of getting a college education in the first place, and that I wasted all the time and effort I did.

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