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New York Times: "National epidemic of students...with depression, anxiety..."; colleges need to help

Aug 28, 2018, New York Times: Feeling Suicidal, Students Turned to Their College. They Were Told to Go Home

…Mr. Fowler ended up having to take a year off. He is now part of a class-action lawsuit accusing the university of discriminating against students with mental health issues by coercing them into taking leaves of absence, rather than trying to meet their needs on campus. Stanford says it has behaved properly. But the case lays bare the conundrum universities face — amid a national epidemic of students dealing with depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts — in responding to a broad array of mental health issues on campus. Some accuse colleges of being too detached, waiting too long to notify parents when students are in trouble, if they notify them at all. Others say schools are too quick to cast off students to avoid lawsuits and bad publicity. “Only half of college students experiencing a mental health crisis seek help, largely due to the justified fear of stigma and negative consequences,” the court papers say. “Too often, universities respond to disability-related behavior with exclusion, blame and draconian measures such as a forced leave of absence.”… The cases described in the court papers include a student who had an anxiety attack, one who was harming herself, and others who had thoughts of suicide or tried to kill themselves. Legal experts say that under federal regulations, it is clear that students can be barred from campus if they pose a threat to others, but less clear if they pose a threat only to themselves….


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