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slide to the left Donating Member (602 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:49 AM
Original message
Student asked to withdrawl from GWU for gettting depression help
About 2 a.m. one sleepless night, sophomore Jordan Nott checked himself into George Washington University Hospital.

He was depressed, he said, and thinking about suicide.

Within a day and a half of arriving there, he got a letter from a GWU administrator saying his "endangering behavior" violated the code of student conduct. He faced possible suspension and expulsion from school, the letter said, unless he withdrew and deferred the charges while he got treatment.

In the meantime, he was barred from campus.

<snip>

His response has college administrators around the country taking notice: Nott sued the university and individuals involved. The school violated federal law protecting Americans with disabilities, the complaint argues. The law covers mental as well as physical impairments.

<snip>

In court documents filed this week, the university's attorneys defended the actions taken, denied that Nott was disabled and suggested that his conduct might bar his recovery. And they asked that the charges be dismissed for the individuals named -- mostly administrators and counselors. The university policies might seem impersonal, spokeswoman Tracy Schario said, but they are designed to keep both individuals and the community safe.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:55 AM
Response to Original message
1. the student claims that GWU shared his medical tx information. Whow.


In essence, it says the school betrayed him by sharing confidential treatment information and suspending him just when he most needed help.
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northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #1
15. it's gotta be a serious HIPPA violation, if nothing else, right?
unless there is something in the student rules about it, and you waive certain HIPPA requirements by becoming a student.
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Frank Cannon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:30 AM
Response to Reply #15
23. It's a big-time HIPAA violation
Lawsuit on the way, I assure you. And I hope this student gets every penny asked for.
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Sgent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #23
94. I agree that its probably a bit time HIPAA violation
w/o seeing the forms he signed in the ER, its hard to know for sure.

That being said, there is no right of private action for violating HIPAA -- the federal DHS can take action to include fines, but its not something that is subject to lawsuit.

That being said, if it happened as stated in his complaint, there is most likely a host of state laws and/or common law that will allow a suit to go forward.
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Frank Cannon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #94
102. I doubt very much that he signed away his right to privacy...
of his medical records to his school in the ER. (But, then, in this f*ed up world, you never know.) At the same time, I would think he could make a case that he was under duress when he signed a release form at the time. After all, he WAS about to die, and he was seeking an intervention to keep that from happening. Not exactly the best circumstances for signing something.

I know HIPAA stuff is not covered under "civil" law. But these fools essentially took what was a very bad situation and made it even worse. I hope he gets some sort of redress, and that it's very satisfactory to him.
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northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #102
105. it may not have been in the ER that he did it
There may be a clause in the student contract with the school that allows medical personel (and he was at the GW hospital) to inform the administration if a student is a threat to himself or others.
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Behind the Aegis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 04:21 AM
Response to Reply #15
143. Not necessairly...
The rules at universities are slightly different than those in the community-at-large, especially if the student lives on campus. There are things that are very off-limits, then there are things that one would think are off-limits, but at a university, different rules apply.

As someone who has worked in university systems (3 different ones), universities are their own microcosms. I'd have to read up more on this particular case. Most staff is trained in the rules of HIPPA, and many others, even at the student staff level.
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formerrepuke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:56 AM
Response to Original message
2. GWU is sending a terrible message to other students who may
feel they need help with depression.. As if they don't already feel bad enough- there is the fear of being kicked out of school for trying to get help.
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electropop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #2
70. What "behavior" are they referring to?
The treatment itself is a threat to other students? Or is there more to the story (e.g. has he been waving a gun or something)?

If they're calling the treatment threatening, they should be sent back to the Dark Ages where they belong. Freakin' idiots.
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Zenlitened Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:56 AM
Response to Original message
3. Beyond unbelievable.
Seek help. Get slammed. What a terrific way to address mental health and liability issues. :eyes:

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Rich Hunt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #3
63. well, that's the American way

This is a cruel country. I wasn't even born here, I was brought here.

What a curse.

'tough love' - most Americans believe what is fed to them, and choose not to care, because it makes them feel good thinking that the enemy is identified and handled.
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Ladyhawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #3
134. A similar thing happened to me when I sought help.
I don't want to go into details, but the clinic I was going to decided my case was "too severe" and cut me off from my beloved counselor and primary care provider. A lot of other crappy stuff happened, too. Let's just say the fundies are in charge of the funny farm.

I've spent the past couple of years going through crappy counselors. I'm getting ready to fire another one. Sigh. I'd been through hell and high water with the counselor I was forced to stop seeing. I trust him. These other bozos just don't measure up.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:56 AM
Response to Original message
4. read here. The school is afraid of being sued--IF suicide is committed.
So, it seems--rather than getting these people help--they just drop them. Whow!



...Suicidal students have always forced tough calls. But with shifting legal ground, growing threats of lawsuits and increasing numbers of troubled teenagers entering colleges, many administrators are even more worried about how to handle them.

Historically, administrators have not been held responsible for student suicides, said Karen-Ann Broe of United Educators, but recent -- and not yet settled -- cases have thrown that in flux.

At Ferrum College in Virginia, where a student had made explicit threats before committing suicide, a judge said before the case was settled that the college has a duty to prevent suicide if the risk is readily foreseeable. "That's a pretty radical innovation of the law," to hold people with no expertise in mental health accountable, said Gary Pavela, director of judicial programs at the University of Maryland.

Preliminary and conflicting rulings at other schools, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have left administrators confused about whether they could be held liable, Broe said.
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:58 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. And they don't think they'll get sued now?
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 08:58 AM by rucky
A campus full of smart people/law profs, etc, and this is what they came up with?
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Ladyhawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #5
135. From what I know now, I hope they get their asses sued off. n/t
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:59 AM
Response to Original message
6. In this particular case I think the university is wrong
I do think that if a student has a demonstrated track record of disrupting classes and behavior that threatens others that a university must be allowed to dismiss the student, even if there is a mental illness issue. The good of the many must take precedence over the good of one student.

However, in this case it seems like GWU was making a pre-emptive expulsion of a student with the unfounded assumption that the kid might do something.
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northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:29 AM
Response to Reply #6
16. and GW has had a couple of suicides recently
as in the last few years, on campus. So they be a little touchy on the issue.
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #16
64. So Their Solution is to Kick them Off Campus to Off Themselves Elsewhere
I think there is at least one college administrator who needs to be relieved of his duties.
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primavera Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #64
76. Or a university president
I kind of thought at first that this had to be the isolated action of some overzealous, risk-averse administrator, but, if that were the case, wouldn't one expect to see the president's office falling all over themselves to apologize for the blunder? And given president Trachtenberg's personal brand of compassionate conservativism, it wouldn't surprise me if this decision was made with his full and express knowledge, consent, and blessing.
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northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #64
103. well, to be fair
there are several officers at other schools being sued for not preventing suicides on campus. So they're screwed either way.
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primavera Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #16
75. And GW president Trachtenberg is a compassionate conservative
... of the Reagan school. Nothing must interfere with the university having large sums of cash for him to embezzle to pad out his extravagent lifestyle, so any student who might commit suicide and leave behind angry parents has got to be dumped by the side of the road without delay.
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 03:53 AM
Response to Reply #6
138. Ya think?
Heck yes they're wrong. A student went for help because he was suicidal; the therapist violated his medical privacy and the school expelled him. That is beyond fucked up. As a teacher, how am I supposed to send my suicidal students to the student medical center with any confidence at all?
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:01 AM
Response to Original message
7. best to read the entire article. Lots of details.


....GWU was Nott's dream school, he said recently. He'd always wanted to study foreign relations in Washington, he said, so after starting classes, making friends his freshman year and getting straight A's, he was the happiest he'd ever been.

But it was a tough year for GWU, with several sudden student deaths. One evening in April, near the end of the semester, a freshman jumped from the fifth floor of a dorm.

He was one of Nott's closest friends; they had planned to room together sophomore year.

When he jumped, the complaint says, Nott and two others were trying to open his locked door to help.
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trixie Donating Member (696 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:01 AM
Response to Original message
8. Well that should help him with his depression
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patcox2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:03 AM
Response to Original message
9. I am as liberal a lawyer as you can be, but I have to admit one thing:
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 09:49 AM by patcox2
Crap lawsuits have ruined the public schools. School administrators do the most ridiculous things, and resort to nazi-like discipline, all because they are so second-guessed by lawsuits whenever anything goes wrong. They are sued for taking action, they are sued for not doing anything. They are sued for allowing too much freedom, they are sued for restricting freedom.

Its an area in which the law has indeed run amuck and there are indeed abusive crazy lawsuits and ridiculous liability standards. The remedy in this situation is that the law should simply insulate schools for liability for a suicide. A suicide is noone's "fault" but the person who killed themself. When you start holding schools responsible for suicide, you are going to find schools rounding up every goth and everyone who is frowning that day and having them committed.
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medeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #9
17. agree
son wrote college entrance essay about the difficulty of living in a red neck small remote town being a liberal and college contacted his high school saying they felt legally obligated to make contact that he could possibly be dangerous.

Fortunately school counselor knew him well and laughed at college...but of course he wasn't admitted to THAT college.
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NVMojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #17
69. INSANE!!! Glad to hear he didn't go there!
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medeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #69
84. one advantage of living in small town!
Believe it or not it was Seattle of all places.
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sojourner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:47 AM
Response to Reply #9
18. um, no, they didn't commit the kid - he did that himself. they'll DROP
every kid who frowns. Arseholes all! - those who file crap lawsuits, those who represent those who file crap lawsuits, AND the college admins who can't think beyond their noses.
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patcox2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:55 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. I am talking generally; since they'll be sued for dropping him,
This thread is an example of how an administrator is whipsawed. They would be sued if they did nothing and he killed himself. They will be sued for dropping him. So next time, they have to somehow keep him in school and stop him, gee, lets try a padded room and a straightjacket. But then they'll be sued for restricting his freedom and imprisoning him, so what next? Assign him a 24-hour psychiatric nurse to make sure he doesn't kill himself. hey, thats great, I want a 24 hour a day companion, I think I'll get one, now tuition hits $100,000 a year to pay for personal psych nurses for half the kids, but oh no, one of the suicidal kids kills his psych nurse, another lawsuit, what next?
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sojourner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. Look, I've been in administration. College administration.
If I had kids who had been present at the suicide of another kid, I'd be concerned about their welfare. I'd want them in counseling. I would probably ask them to also see one of the University counselors on a regular basis and if they checked themselves in for help at a hospital, then perhaps a leave of absence would be a good idea, but sure as hell would not be about "charges" and "dismissal". Handle the kid and the problem with a little finesse, you know?

But no. Jerk administrators who only read bottom line reports and listen to lawyers' advice act like assholes and make the kid feel like HE'S doing something wrong. And then it's "oh, poor admins". Bull.
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Iowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #20
106. Good post sojouner...
I have worked in a professional capacity with students who have psych disabilities. I have also worked in a mental hospital and in various treatment settings. I've seen just about every type of human misery imaginable - and dealt with countless situations relating to psychiatric disabilities that involve an element of risk.

The truth is, people who are treated with dignity, courtesy, kindness, and respect by competent staff aren't likely to sue - even when things go wrong. In 30 years in the business, I was never sued, nor did I know of any colleague who was sued. It's all about acting in the best interests of the student - being on their side, treating them like they're one of your own, caring about them, wanting them to succeed, and helping them accomplish their dreams - that kind of thing. Unfortunately, there are far too many lightweight administrators out there who are too damned lazy to make judgment calls. They want clear-cut rules for every imaginable scenario. They hide behind lawyers who bring up worst case scenarios to cover their own asses, when the situation actually calls for a little common sense, compassion, and humanity. They create an "us-versus-them" mentality and draw ridiculous lines-in-the-sand that anyone with an ounce of common sense would see as just plain stupid. In short - they'll destroy a kid without even blinking, just to serve their rigid, self-serving view of the world - and they hide behind lawyers to cover their lack of humanity. They invite lawsuits, and they deserve them.

There are almost always numerous ways to address any issue and I'm sick of hearing about poor admins making $150,000+ and their agonizing "damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't" dilemmas. My 79 year old retired homemaker/school-teacher mother could handle such matters skillfully and without breaking a sweat - and she wouldn't even consider it to be work.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #106
110. That was a VERY insightful post
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 06:30 PM by depakid
Iowa, and it comports both with what I've read and with my experience....
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #110
119. Yes, Iowa, as a former college professor who has had
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 07:13 PM by Lydia Leftcoast
problems with depression, I'm appalled that GWU dismissed a student for having a medical condition.

In discussions of public school follies, I came up with the acronym "ACA," which stands for "ass-covering administrator." This is the type of administrator who is so determined to "stay out of trouble" that he follows the letter of the rules instead of their spirit.

GWU seems to be well-staffed with ACAs.
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Iowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:54 PM
Response to Reply #119
126. I like that Lydia - ACAs...
There are far too many of them, and their numbers are growing. I took them on frequently in my job. It got to the point where I could see the writing on the wall - where things were heading - so I retired early. I had been planning it anyway, but I might have remained a couple more years were it not for the ACAs. Many of my colleagues (the ones who are generally viewed as the very best) are either getting out early or planning their escape. The dimmer bulbs are getting into management jobs. It's not a pretty sight.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #126
129. Yes, after I left academia for free-lance translating, my
ex-colleagues remarked that I looked so relaxed and cheerful! :-)
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #119
137. You could also go with CACAs...
Cowardly Ass-Covering Administrators.

:P

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MountainLaurel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-13-06 09:21 AM
Response to Reply #119
145. Your last point is dead on
My husband works for GW and attended grad school there. It has been run for the past decade or so by a president for whom the bottom line is the only priority (a Reagan accolyte, what a surprise). The administration is only concerned about covering its ass, not the welfare of the students.
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Iowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #110
123. Thanks depakid!
Coming from you that means a lot. I almost always agree with and enjoy your posts.
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #106
118. I second the above.
the previous 2 posts are excelent and IMO reflect how someone who is better equiped to handle this type of situation could have done so in a way that would have been better for everyone involved including the other students on campus.
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Iowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #118
128. Thanks Realityhack! Your point about it being better for other students...
on campus is a very good one. If this kid goes down, just because of an illness, then all of the students are at risk. This business of stigmatizing and punishing people because of an illness is insanity. Furthermore, the damages can be significant. Example: in most states a college student will lose health insurance coverage on their parents' plan if they cease to become full-time students. So these kinds of capricious decisions have the potential to really harm a kid.
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jennygirl Donating Member (133 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #20
108. I was a disability counselor for a small community college in the South
As such I had several students with psychiatric disabilities who were possibly suicide (maybe, even homicidal?) The other counslors sent such students to me and I recommended them to whatever behavioral health facilities they needed and allowed them to sit out that semester. However, they could only return with a "fitness to return" report from their physician. Also, having expertise in the ADA, the aforementioned student should prevail unless the university tries to argue that under this act that he is a direct threat to himself or others. Even then, they should put him on probation and give him a chance to recover.
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Iowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #108
122. You bring up some good points.
It's tough to know how this might play out without a great many more details.

Danger to self or others is the standard applied to civil commitments, so it would be difficult for the school to take that tack if the student has been discharged with the blessing of the psych hospital staff (which constitutes a tacit acknowledgment that no such danger is seen to exist).

Regarding fitness to return (or fitness to participate to begin with): I was called upon to make such decisions and it's a pretty meaningless exercise. For psych diagnoses, the rationale that goes into these fitness statements is very thin. Generally it means nothing more than that there is nothing glaring that would demonstrate a lack of fitness. There is really no way for anyone to know if the student is fit or how he/she will react when thrown into the fray. Like you, I tended to believe that students should be given the benefit of any doubt, and provided with considerable support until they become acclimated. It never ceased to amaze me that some were quick to throw up roadblocks when they should have been helping the student break down barriers. And colleges were often the worst! Stigma continues to plague those with mental illness.
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susanna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #20
131. Very well said, and I agree completely. n/t
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Nay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #20
136. Agreed. When I was in college, my roommate tried to kill herself. I
found her, puking up 2 bottles of aspirin. The college didn't throw ME out, and they offered counseling if I wanted it. They advised her to go home and get counseling, and as far as I know, she did. this was in 1970, though, a time when people were a hell of a lot nicer and more concerned about others than they are now.

But shit, to throw the kid out because he went to get help! Disgusting!
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Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #9
68. I occasionally comment
that insurance companies and lawyers run the country.

I think there ARE too many frivolous lawsuits (not sure the GOP has the right plan for dealing with them, though) and the problems with liability keep getting stacked higher and higher. Stuff like this rubs me the wrong way.

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Baconfoot Donating Member (653 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #68
90. There are too many frivolous lawsuits. This isn't one of them.
This is discrimination. You see, in this country we can't fire people or kick them out of college (however "nicely") for being disabled or for being a woman or for being a member of any other protected glass (Sorry GLBTIers.) (I add I for intersex which deserves a letter but never gets one).

"Stuff like this" SHOULD rub you the wrong way... if you mean by "stuff like this" people being denied an education from a particular institution on the basis of membership in a disenfranchised group.

If the kid was being kicked out (however "nicely") for being in a wheelchair and sued, you wouldn't think it was frivolous; you would think it was horrifying that they were being kicked out of school. I think people should ask themselves why they have such a different reaction in the case of someone who is suicidally depressed and who is being medically responsible about their condition.
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Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #90
91. Oh, I agree...
I'm talking about the college worrying about lawsuits if they DIDN'T do this. If the kid sought help, and was receiving help, the university was, in my opinion, honor bound to do everything within its power to help. I don't think the university should be somehow held liable for doing the right thing, and don't like the idea that they may have done the wrong thing for fear of such liability.
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Baconfoot Donating Member (653 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #9
80. What does this have to do with the current situation?
The suit isn't about holding the school responsible for anyone's suicide attempt.
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Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #80
92. Right, but such a fear may have prompted
the action, stupid as that might seem.
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murielm99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:09 AM
Response to Original message
10. My two oldest children experienced the opposite.
My daughter and son both got school sponsored counseling.

My daughter had to cope with the death of someone who was very close to her, the serious illness of a boyfriend, and the realization that she was gay, all within a few months. She got counseling. I am surprised she was able to stay in school and keep he grades up with everything that was happening.

My son experienced some depression while at school. He did not have all kinds of disturbing events in his life like his sister, he was just depressed. He talked to me, and I urged him to get counseling from his school. He did. And he says he is not afraid to ask for help again if he needs it.

I have friends who just lost a son to suicide. Is that the alternative if getting help is such a stigma?
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #10
115. Reasonable as always.
I always like your posts even if I don't agree they are clear and logical.

I sought counceling in school. They imediately refered me off campus and I got help. They even drove me back and forth. Didn't keep me from completely messing up my accedemics but it did keep me sane.
But if the word was out on campus that seeing a counceler could/would mean I would be suspended untill I was all happy again? F(*&# that. Who knows how bad it could have been. My personal guess is VERY.

The campus I was on had a very serious alcholol program with someone passing out etc almost every weekend. But they knew that if they brought the hammer down on the people who did the passing out (rather than going after the parties etc.) they would just have people not reporting that their roomate was passed out and it could lead to deaths. They put the word out that calling campus EMS (they had their own) would NOT result in punishment for your drunken friend (though I am guessing they encoraged some counceleing etc). I think I would have seen at least a few deaths if it were not for that policy.
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OKNancy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:10 AM
Response to Original message
11. Dang, if every college student who sought counseling
for depression ( or anxiety ) were to be kicked out, I imagine half the student body would be gone.
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Gemini Cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. ...And most of the grad students as well.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #11
24. But this isn't every student who sought counseling
This is a kid who tried to stop a friend's suicide -- who had a second friend who then killed himself -- and who is now suicidally depressed himself. If I were this student's parent, I would want him to come home for treatment -- and not end up like those MIT parents whose daughter killed herself (the school was giving her treatment, but it wasn't enough to stop her). Can you imagine how you would feel as a parent if your child killed himself at school -- and you know about the suicidal thoughts, and you hadn't brought him home? There's no need to feel pressured about getting through college in exactly four years.
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Baconfoot Donating Member (653 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #24
82. There's no need to kick the kid out of school either. NT
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #24
116. Thats not the schools decision to make.
It could potentialy make things worse as well. The student with a psychologist and talking with his parents etc. need to make that decision not school administration.

If the kid had decided he wanted to get off campus for a while nobody here would care one iota bout the case (especialy if the college said they would hold a seat when he was ready to come back). But the college didn't say look if you want to go home or take a semseter off or something there will be no accademic penalties we just want you to feel supported, if you need to move dorms or something we can arange it etc. They said hey kid. Your suicidal. Get out.
Thats the problem people have. Its not being supportive its strict CYA as long as it dosn't happen here we couldn't care less BS.
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area51 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:11 AM
Response to Original message
12. This is outrageous.
This is an obvious lesson to the students that if you're sick, don't seek help. You have no rights. There's already enough stigma against mental problems in this country, along w/the fact that our govt. wastes out tax dollars & doesn't wisely spend them on universal healthcare. :mad:


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BiggJawn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 09:22 AM
Response to Original message
14. Gee. As a former "Potentially Lethal Employee"...
THIS sure makes me sad. Yeah, Me. A "Potentially Lethal Employee" which is Catbert-speak for "going Postal".
I was going through a bitch of a divorce (if you've read much I've written, you know that's an understatement) and my boss "feared for the safety of my co-workers".

So my therapist, who I found through our EAP, told me he got a call from Catbert, wanting an over-the-phone "risk assessment". He told me that after hearing the description of the employee, he told them "I know who you're talking about because I'm treating him, and no, in my estimation, he's NOT dangerous".

My carreer there was cooked, anyway. My boss pretty much shunted me to the siding out behind the car barn and there weren't a lot of tears or any counter-offer when I gave notice the next year.

The lesson here for college students is, If you're depressed, think twice before going to the Student Clinic, and if you DO go, NEVER even HINT that you may be having thoughts of hurting yourself.
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #14
117. I agree and thats a VERY dangerous message.
Doublely so on a campus that has had a couple of trageties recently and can expect more depressed students than normal.
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BiggJawn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #117
132. It's ROUGH being a college kid now!
Who knows? The major you've spent 3 years chasing might be off-shored or the market goes away any minute, and JUST TODAY, I read where attitudes in the market are changing, and now there's a fear that today's BS or BA is worth about as much as a HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA was 30 years ago!

Never mind the BS, you're gonna need a MS to even get entry level! How stressful and depressing is THAT?
And stack about a hundred kilkobux of high-intrest debt (fuck you very much, Il Douche!)on top of that...

How long before they start telling new teachers "You have to have your Master's to work here, and have your PhD before we'll give you tenure...Oh, by the way, the job pays $45,000, but you're in it because of the kids anyway, right?"

Shit, it's depressing just WRITING this!

and they'll expel you for asking for help.
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LeftHander Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
21. Save Tracy Shario!
Save her from the evil!
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Turbineguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
22. OK, we knew there are a few idiots
running elementary-, middle- and high schools but Universities too?
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:55 AM
Response to Original message
25. There wouldn't be enough tuition to keep universities open if every
student who periodically and FLEETINGLY felt suicidal had to withdraw. College is very stressful on many levels from issues ranging from being homesick to demands of the courses to lack of social peerage.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. This particular situation was very serious -- you might want to read the
whole article. Suicide can be contagious; he actually was posing a risk to other students as well as being seriously at risk himself.

"But it was a tough year for GWU, with several sudden student deaths. One evening in April, near the end of the semester, a freshman jumped from the fifth floor of a dorm.

He was one of Nott's closest friends; they had planned to room together sophomore year.

When he jumped, the complaint says, Nott and two others were trying to open his locked door to help.

In fall 2004, when Nott came back to school, he started feeling depressed, he said. He kept thinking about how his friend had died.

In September, another student committed suicide."


I can't blame the University for wanting to act on this, though I think the way they handled it (and the poorly written letter) could have been a lot more empathic.
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #26
30. Yes, suicide under certain circumstances can be contagious. NYU went
through a rash of them a few years back.

But two things:

1. If the student was suicidal BEFORE being asked to leave, how do you think he felt AFTER the request?

2. The university was in an unenviable position as any decision subjected it to potential lawsuit. But how about this: taking the time to look after the kid, counseling, peer-counseling, faculty advisor taking greater interest, administration keeping an eye on him, etc. Just let him stay in school and deal with the challenges with more sympathy and support from the University.
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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #30
34. Number 2. That's how our university would handle it.
Good post.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #30
36. If I were that student's parent, I would tell him that I think
the way the University handled it, with that stupid letter, sucked. But I would also tell him that I would feel better about him getting treatment at home, with the best doctors, among people who loved him. And that there is no shame at all in taking time off from school -- tons of students do it -- and that when he was better he could go back.

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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #36
42. Certainly being home with family would be better...
but it's not always possible.

But the point that you seem to be missing is that this isn't your average academic withdrawal. The student has been told to either withdraw or be expelled. In those circumstances, even when the student heals, the university will not allow him to come back.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #42
53. Article says he faced a "possible" suspension or expulsion if he didn't
withdraw and get treatment. That doesn't tell me that he can't return after treatment. I think you're jumping to conclusions.
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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #53
57. No, I'm not. I teach in the university system. I know how these things
work.

If a student withdraws under threat of expulsion (and I've been involved in situations like this before, in cases in which students stalked profs or behaved violently towards other students), then that student either withdraws or is expelled. In cases of forced withdrawal, all related evidence and correspondence goes into that student's file, and that student will never be re-accepted in the university.

Force withdrawals are recorded and are black marks on student records. If the student wants to transfer records, it's very likely that those records will accompany the student's info to any prospective university.

What you can't seem to understand is that forced withdrawal isn't the same as withdrawing voluntarily because of hardship. Forced withdrawals are nice expulsions.
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northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #57
104. right, a forced withdrawal
is like the CEO who left to 'spend more time with his family' as a courtesy, they let you resign instead of getting the boot.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #104
107. But since many students withdraw for many reasons, it isn't a black
mark as long as a suspension or expulsion isn't part of your record. The article says that he avoided that by withdrawing when he did. And that he is now a 20 year old senior at the U. of Maryland. So while this whole thing I'm sure was hard on him, he is okay now. Which is the bottom line, isn't it?

That girl who set her room on fire at MIT (in a successful suicide) could have burnt the whole dorm down. My oldest was a student there, so this hits pretty close to home.
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 04:13 AM
Response to Reply #107
140. If it's a forced withdrawal it will be on his record!!! n/t
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #42
120. Well.... not always.
actualy it could make things worse. I would hesitate to make such a blanket statement that home is better. Some homes would definately be worse. I know nothing about his. Also leaving school which you worked to get into etc. can be dificult in and of itself. Its a decision for the student to make with a licenced psychologist not us or the school.
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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #120
124. True. Often, home is the source of the depression.
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Mythsaje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #30
93. I tink that would have been the right course of action...
This was most definitely the WRONG course of action.
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 04:11 AM
Response to Reply #30
139. Being a graduate teaching assistant at NYU, I understand completely.
Another NYU graduate student jumped to her death across the street from my apartment the week I moved in. I now understand why. Grad school is rough, but NYC is a bitch to weather for 5-10 years as an impoverished advanced student with little job prospects on the other side. Especially when you're teaching extremely wealthy and apathetic undergrads.

The culture of NYU is also threatening and abysmal. 23 of us have been suspended from teaching (originally for a year or more) for union activity. The president has called us "a virus", in fact and stated that it is his job to "eradicate us." Most of the faculty are beaten down by the secretive administration. It's becoming a neo-conservative enclave (Uribe and Kissinger recently awarded honorary degrees, for example.)

Most of the suicides were in the library, I believe, with people jumping maybe stories down into the middle of the crowded library foyer.

It's not a cheery place by any stretch. Being at NYU has been one of the worst experiences of my life. I know MANY grad students who have gone through bouts of suicidal thoughts and almost everyone I know here is very close to nervous breakdown.
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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #26
33. I certainly don't mean to be crass...
but suicides happen on large campuses.

It's the school's responsibility to help students affected by another's suicide. They should provide counseling or referral for in-house treatment.

If this student has not put another person's life in danger, if he hasn't threatened another student or faculty member, he certainly shouldn't be deemed a danger, and the college should assist him in treatment. Especially considering the fact that he was so close to another suicide.

My heart breaks for him. Wish I could invite him to our campus where he'd receive the empathy he deserves.
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xynthee Donating Member (322 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #26
71. WTF is wrong with you?
Please tell me where in this article it describes how he was a danger to anyone else, because I don't see it. This kid did the responsible thing by getting help when he needed it, and for that he was punished. How could any non-moron believe that this is the right thing to do (or that it COULD have been the right thing to do, only handled better)? Please enlighten me!! I'm curious to know how your brain works.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #71
74. The reason he was suicidal is because his friend committed suicide, and
he wasn't able to stop him. If he also killed himself, that could in turn hurt other students.

And being asked to get treatment isn't the same as being punished. Lots of students withdraw from school for treatment of various kinds, and return later.
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #74
112. WRONG
Sorry but thats just wrong.

He was suicideal becuase he couldn't stop his friend - true and also a big duh.
If he killed himself that could happen to other students - SO? Thats not an actual threat to others. Its at best indirect. Other students could and WILL become suicideal for all kinds of reasons having nothing to do with him. Its important to make sure that when they do they have a maximum chance of seeking help.

The student wasn't asked to get treatment. He already was getting help. He was told he was not welcome back untill he was not depresed any more. Thats very diffrent. It would be one thing if the kids psychologest said 'look you should take a brake from school' or involentarily commited him or something as a serious threat. But it was the school trying to cover its arse by telling him feel better or else.

That will definately have an impact on anyone considering talking to student services about depression. I for one would risk getting a lot 'closer to the edge' if I thought talking to someone might mean being forced from school.
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #26
111. Some very reasonable points.
On the other hand IMO the decision about wither the student was truely a danger to himself (which it apears is the only way in which he was by extention a danger to others) should be made by a medical profesional not a school trying to cover its arse.
If the student was an imediate danger to himself... then he should have been commited. As I understad it thats mandatory.
If the student was not and imediate danger to himself and the actual profesional (psychologist) beleived that therapy medication etc. was a reasoable course than I do not see how what the college did is right.

The fact is even one suicide at a school can spark others. Would we want every student on depresion medication kicked out because the schools wanted to cover their behinds? Should every student have to chose between posible expulsion and getting help for depression after an incident like this?

Frankly I think what the college did made their campus MORE suseptible to such things. Everyone on campus now knows that they could be kicked out for talking to counceling about being depressed. Dosn't matter on the specifics thats the message that will get through loud and clear. Nobody gets help and its not good for anyone. IMO its a VERY VERY VERY bad if not downright dangerous decision.

The same thing goes when you get alchohol poisoning on campus. Some schools have found it is safer NOT to disipline studentents (or to have only very minor disipline) for students who pass out on campus etc. They want to encorage people to call emergency serveces instead of 'protecting' their friend from fallout.

I bet there are other people on the campus upset about the tragedies an all kinds of other bits of lifes problems that will definately not go to the school counceling center looking for help after this. I hope they all have the cash for private counceling. I would hate to see such a stupid thing result in more deaths.
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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #25
28. Most universities know this. That's why most have counseling available
on the university grounds, which is a smart policy.
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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:10 AM
Response to Original message
27. This is terrible. Our university has a counseling center on the grounds
and faculty and students are urged to seek counseling whenever they see they need it, whether it's for smoking cessation or marital problems.

It's terrible that this is happening to this student. It's surely NOT normal, and I don't blame the student for suing.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #27
29. The girl who killed herself at MIT was getting counseling
from the University. But she set herself on fire in a dorm room. She obviously needed more help than she could get in the university setting. Some students do.
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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #29
31. And in that case, they will be referred.
I sought help after Katrina for PTSD. The first thing the counselor asked was whether or not I had thoughts of taking my own life. If I has said yes, she would have referred me for in-house treatment.

That's the way it should be done.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #31
32. Sorry, she was referred
the University knew she was suicidal and was trying to provide appropriate treatment. She had even been hospitalized for a time. But several months later, after extensive counseling, she killed herself.
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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #32
35. Did they kick her out of school mid-treatment?
As I said, yes, suicides happen on campus. There's nothing the school can do to keep all suicides from happening.

Back to the student in the article. GWU handled this situation badly, considering that the boy had been so closely associated to the previous suicide--and he probably has tremendous guilt issues because he couldn't save the other student.

But to excise him as if he's some sort of cancer was the wrong way to handle this.

At the university where I teach, I have mentored some students--usually freshmen--who are having a difficult time adjusting. I can't imagine having a student confide in me, and then me turning around and taking it to administration to get that student removed. I usually tell the student about the counseling center, and they take advantage of it.

Suicides will happen on large campuses, because, in essence, large campuses are cities unto themselves. To expell a student because he may be at risk for suicide is not only callous, but also morally, ethically wrong.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #35
37. No, unfortunately, she might be alive today if they HAD kicked her out
mid-treatment and she had been in a hospital where she belonged. But they were trying to manage her treatment on campus, and it didn't work out.
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Mithras61 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #37
39. Just out of curiosity...
what are your qualifications to assess individuals in this sort of situation? How do you know she might be alive today if she had been expelled or asked to withdraw? On what are you basing this conclusion?


Not looking for an argument, but I have received VERY effective counseling from my University for depression, and you have made it pretty clear (to me, at least) that you don't think University-based counselors can provide the level of treatment required. My University had degreed Psychologists & Psychiatrists available to students. How could anything short of involuntary commitment be better?
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #39
56. I'm not saying she should have been expelled, but I wouldn't blame a
University that said she was too much for their system to handle, and asked her to get treatment at home and come back when her doctors said she was better.

Of course she MIGHT be alive. Who knows?

As it was, this girl's parents sued MIT for her death, even though the University was doing everything it could to treat her.

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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #56
58. Universities can't remove all risks of lawsuits from their campuses.
Unfortunately, suicide is a risk on campuses, just as it's a risk in any other U.S. city...and let's be clear that university populations rival those of small cities.

To force a student out of the university under the conditions in the original article is not only heavy handed, but morally wrong and even further opens the university up to litigation.
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 04:20 AM
Response to Reply #58
142. I totally agree.
Suicide is an individual decision if there ever was one. I do think, however, that universities that have serious problems with suicide need to take a hard look at the culture of their campus and not just paper over the tragedy with an advertising campaign. Of course, if a university is a miserable place, it's probably quite incapable of assessing its ill effects.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #56
60. You might not blame them but it is ILLEGAL. It's a clear
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 12:18 PM by sfexpat2000
violation of that student's civil rights.


What if they did the same for blue eyed students, or women, or short students.

This is why we protect our civil rights so @ssholes like this University's admins can't interfere with your life.

/spellin'
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #56
114. Ummm....
earlier you implied that if she was kicked out she would have been hospitalized. You have not provided any evidence for that conclusion.
As far as 'Might be alive' it just as easily 'might have' triggered suicide (kicked out/susspended from MIT would be a big punch).

Suicides happen. The key in this case IMO is to make sure the response does not push other students to not get counceling. Frankly if the students Psychologist involentarily commited the kid I would have no problem with it. But that is not what we are talking about.
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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #37
41. And you know this HOW?
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Pacifist Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #37
43. That's a really big "might."
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #37
44. You are making a LOT of assumptions about hospitalization. n/t
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bettyellen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #37
48. wow, tell us more about where she belonged.....
and you know this how exactly?
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #35
38. He wasn't expelled, just asked to withdraw for treatment
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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #38
40. It's a "nice" expulsion. Are you in the university system?
Any time a student is asked to withdraw or face expulsion, that student will not be allowed to come back, AND that student will have a HUGE black mark on his academic records that will harm his abilities to find another university.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #40
46. Just what you need in the middle of a depressive episode.
I can't believe how craven people can be.
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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #46
49. It's terrible treatment.
And it's a heavy handed ploy by GWU to "purify" the university from any lawsuit risks. In the end, they probably opened themselves up for a huge lawsuit...if I were this student, I'd sue for every penny of tuition and academic-related expenses, as well as to have any student loans nullified.

If I had been an administrator at GWU, I would take into consideration that this student had attempted to save another student who committed suicide. I would handle him with kid gloves, help him find treatment, offer time off without penalty (instead of forcing withdrawal by using expulsion as a lever), and I'd assign a member of their counseling staff to stay in close contact with him.

But it's a trend these days for universities to have callous "risk managers" (lawyers whose only job is to protect the university from litigation at any cost). It appears, though, that by attempting to avoid litigation, GWU may have opened itself for litigation. Wish that I could sit on that jury.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #49
121. A nice medical leave would have been the humane thing to offer
It's common for students to take a semester or year off for a variety of reasons, including ill physical or mental health.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 10:35 PM
Response to Reply #121
130. He avoided suspension or expulsion, by withdrawing.He's a 20yr. old senior
at U. of Maryland now. The article didn't say, but he may well have had a medical withdrawal.
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 04:17 AM
Response to Reply #130
141. Can you read?
Do you understand that a FORCED WITHDRAWAL IS THE SAME AS AN EXPULSION? How many times does Maddy have to say it!
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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #46
54. .
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 12:15 PM by Maddy McCall
.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #54
59. Are you crazy? I wasn't defending any of Bush's faith based programs
I hate them. Anyone with a brain could tell that when I said how well "Operation Brother's Keeper" did in evacuating New Orleans, I was being sarcastic.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #40
50. No, I'm not, although many years ago I worked at UW. But this student had
not even been suspended, much less expelled. He has no black mark on his record so far. If he withdrew for treatment, therefore, there would be nothing but a withdrawal noted on his record, which many students have for various reasons (money, sick relatives, mono, etc.,) -- and which wouldn't prevent him from transferring to another college. I don't know about GW (and neither do you), but at my son's college, if a student were asked to take a medical leave for counseling, he would also have had the option to return to that college after treatment.
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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #50
52. Your post demonstrates your lack of knowledge of academic affairs...
in higher ed.

And that's the kindest--and last--thing I will say to you.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #38
45. Since when do Universities have the right to interfer
in a student's medical treatment?

What a load of cr@p!

This is discrimination, pure and simple.
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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #45
51. As well as an invasion of privacy.
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #29
113. Thats a tragety but...
I fail to see the actual point.

First off campus councelers can and do hand students off to outside profesionals. And if someone is deemed an imediate threat they can (must IIRC) be commited untill that is no longer the case.

There is absolutely no evidence that kicking the girl out of school would have stoped her from killing herself. In fact it would not necisarily have stoped her from killing herself on campus.

NOTHING will prevent all suicides. The point is you want people who are getting depressed or contemplating it to get help. You do not want them to go geee... I feel like shit but if I talk to someone I might make things worse becasue they will kick me out. That will not lower the suicide rate.
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slide to the left Donating Member (602 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #27
83. Mine did too
And most of the female RAs were in couseling.
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HuffleClaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
47. eeeep
in my recollection the college i went to never had shortage of students going to the counsellors for the same reason. this sounds downright odd.
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fishwax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:08 PM
Response to Original message
55. seeking treatment is "endangering"?
:shrug:
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:23 PM
Response to Original message
61. I've often wondered about this
The schools must have a certain number of students each year who are forced to withdraw because of various health reasons including depression and schizophrenia. I have never seen any sign whatsoever that any school is prepared or even aware of this fact. Self help walk in clinics are hardly the answer since so often these students are not capable of knowing when they need help. Here I'm thinking esp. of the victims of schizophrenia which often strikes young adults with no warning. I am disgusted at the so-called "advisors" who can't even help my daughter select classes. The fact that there are no responsible adults on campuses making certain that the students are at least in fair health is a major problem that needs to be addressed.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #61
62. They had a great mental health clinic when I was in grad school.
And the faculty also did a really good job of handling students with problems. But that was years ago. I wonder what kind of resources they have at their disposal now. :(
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #61
65. Especially at night, on many campuses there are practically no adults
around -- there may only be an undergraduate resident advisor in the dorm. It's not like the days when there were housemothers.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #65
66. Excuse me, I'm not trying to insult young adults, but 18-22 year olds are
pretty young to be dealing with these issues all on their own
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #66
72. Depression is bad enough, but schizophrenia makes it look like
a day in the park. I can't imagine being a freshman far from home and suddenly hearing voices OR being the roommate of that person, but as I said, it does happen over and over again every year, and colleges just pretend that such things never happen. Throw in some self medication with illicit drugs and now you have a real mess on your hands.Even worse, so often it seems to strike the best nd brightest kids. I agree, we need some sort of house mother system. My daughter wishes the dorm could have some sort of dorm cat or dorm dog as well, but she's afraid sooner or later some jerk would poison it with Ecstasy or something.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #72
77. yes, as a parent I would rather a University error on the side
of caution -- i.e., we're not equipped to handle this -- than on the other side. How could I live with myself if something happened and I was relying on people I didn't know at all to care for my son?
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #77
81. As a parent, you have no legal right to infringe on your son's
civil rights, either.

Geezus.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #81
85. Actually, I do, because my kids signed medical power of attorneys,
which came in handy when my son fell and suffered a concussion.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #85
86. A POA is a limited instrument. And no, you do not have that
legal right.

I also have a medical POA for my husband. His rights are still protected.

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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #86
89. I do have the legal right for info on my student's condition and care.
I'm not sure what right you're saying I don't have, but of course he still has civil rights. I was just replying to the implication that as a parent I shouldn't be involved in my students' care.

If I hadn't had the document when he was unconscious, the hospital (that was 1000 miles away), wouldn't have been able to share anything with me about his condition.
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 04:24 AM
Response to Reply #89
144. Yes, that's a "notify in case of accident" condition.
A college would not notify you if your child was in counseling. That's absurd. First of all, he's most likely a legal adult if he's in college.
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #81
88. But isn't there some middle ground bt infringing on civil rights
and ignoring the problem? I'm talking about a dumb kid away from home, living with total strangers, suddenly confronted with the fact that he (or she) personally or the kid in the next bed or the kid down the hall is losing it. Just when do you get help? How do you get help? What if everyone else can see that a person needs help except the person that needs the help?
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #88
95. Sure there is. I have to deal with that middle ground all the time
Edited on Fri Mar-10-06 02:33 PM by sfexpat2000
as my husband has mental health stuff.

Speaking as a parent and as a former college English teach, I would guess that kids at school would get more consistent attention and interaction with a larger group of people than kids at home or at work. And that factor alone would make me hesitant to barge in and introduce what could be a further trauma -- because it is traumatizing when someone takes control of your life.

I ref'd plenty of kids to the Counselling office or otherwise just tried to keep track of them. My peers and I had a whole list of students that we watched as a team, informally of course, but we tracked them as best as we could.

The issue of a person with diminished capacity to know their situation is a very urgent one. My husband and I helped work on Laura's Law here in CA -- which gives the family a legal way to step in if a family member is in bad shape and can't be aware of it.

Imho, the key in these situations is respectful teamwork. The college in question could have handled this so much better if they wanted to. It looks like their lawyers sent a memo and to hell with the student. This was completely unneccessary. There's a bunch of communications tools that can be used to help the student make their own, good decision. But, that requires that someone actually care about that student.

It's never a good time or the "right age" to deal with mental illness. But, we do all the time whether we know it or not. Busting up the stigma around mental illness is probably the most powerful step we can take to ensure our kids will be safe, will feel okay about talking to a friend, a teacher or a parent about the truth of their experience.

/typo
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #81
96. At the risk of being accused of facism, or worse,

my number one goal for my own three students is to make it out of college alive and healthy. If a college were to say they couldn't manage this with one of my sons, then I'd say, "Come home and you can get treatment here. College can wait; your health is our first priority."


Concerning the GW student, the original article says that he's okay now -- and with "no permanent black marks."

"In April 2005, he withdrew permanently from GWU, and transferred to the University of Maryland.

He's 20 now, a senior already because he has crammed in classes. He looks easygoing, and he said he's not depressed anymore, but there's a determined edge in his blue eyes.

'I'm trying to make this college experience," he said, "as short as possible.'"
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #96
97. You know, dictating to people of that age is a non starter.
Your goals are commendable but you might want to rethink your approach.

People dealing with mental health issues already feel out of control. The way you interact with them can be positive, respectful and supportive or it can be intrusive, traumatizing and even, damaging. It's your choice to make.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #97
98. Who said anything about dictating? It was the college that forced the
issue. On the other hand, I'm wondering if that boy's parents might actually be seeing some money in this now. How do we know they're not helping him to sue the school?

MIT was sued for $27 million because their efforts in counseling didn't keep a student alive. They were blamed for "missing signals," even though the parents had visited the girl the day before!
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #77
87. But at least wouldn't you like to know that something wasn't right?
I wonder how many kids drop out each year (complete with student loan) due to an undiagnosed mental illness. I know lots of people here hate pills and pharmaceutical companies with a passion, but I'd trade a diagnosis and a handful of pills over dropping out any day of the week.
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hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #72
100. It seems in today's world I would have been booted out for good.
Sorry, you blew it, you can't cut it here, and there are plenty of people waiting to take your seat...

Instead various professors and university staff always looked out for me. I remember one week I turned in an English paper that was utter gibberish. The professor took me aside, chatted with me a little bit, and then she walked me down to the student health center. It turned out I'd had a bad reaction to prednisone I'd recently been prescribed. It could have turned out very badly if nobody had noticed.

One problem with many big universities is that students get thrown into these huge classes where nobody knows who the are, and the teaching assistants are too busy to care. The social darwinists among our politicians probably see universities as factories for turning out people with degrees, and they don't support any services not directly related to that. Students who can't get those degrees at the lowest possible cost and the least amount of trouble are unwelcome.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #100
101. I wouldn't have booted you, hunter, and I took a lot of those walks.
There is such a silly level of near hysteria about mental health stuff.

Here, we have the tech to help so many. If only we had the brains.

:eyes:
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sojourner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #66
133. you know....
the young man did the responsible thing...he sought help. his pay-back was to to have the school demand he withdraw. (they were dumping him as a liability, plain and simple).

i don't care what anyone thinks. a person who does the right thing for him/herself has the right not to have some college lawyer dictating what he can or cannot do with his life.

clearly this college decided he would not get his education at GW. that is a violation of his rights, plain and simple.

and before people go off on what threat he might have been, please realize that this world we live in is damn risky. you never know who is going to go off, when, where or why. does that mean you go around on the assumption that EVERY person with depression is a danger? do you even know how many people you encounter every day who are taking some kind of anti-psychotic medication or getting professional treatment? --- course in Big Brother's Brave New World we soon WILL know, and who knows what kind of life is ahead for those unlucky folks? that is why this cannot stand. it must not be countenanced.
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hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
67. This is a horrible story.
When I was in college a friend of mine attempted suicide in my apartment. I was very upset, and ended up in subsequent weeks wrecking my car, fighting with teaching assistants and so on. I was never suicidal myself, but my behavior was certainly erratic.

To make a long story short, I was asked to leave the university. I don't know what records were kept of this (if any) and a few years later I did manage to get back in and graduate, but at no time did I feel like the university was simply casting me off or covering anything up.

It's a very messed up world where things like this situation at GWU can happen.
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #67
73. GWU suicide prevention info

www.gwu.edu/~bygeorge/nov05/suicidegrant.html

"GW Receives Federal Grant to Support Suicide Prevention

The George Washington University joins a group of 22 schools nationwide in receiving a Campus Suicide Prevention Grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). GWs award, administered by the University Counseling Center (UCC), is approximately $75,000 per year for up to three years, with an equivalent match from the University. The goal is to create a sustainable, responsive campus community for at-risk students through an awareness and education campaign."

... SNIP

"The grant will bolster GWs suicide prevention efforts through the creation of an even more aware, trained, and caring campus community. UCC will leverage existing resources across campus to reach at-risk students. This campaign is multi-faceted and will use multiple media to raise awareness and use of UCC services; expand training programs for faculty, academic advisors, University police, residential life and student services staff, and student leaders; enhance targeting of at-risk populations (e.g. graduate and multi-cultural students, among others); expand partnerships with student groups; establish a first responder training program; and support emergency services, including the adoption of an after-hours talkline staffed by masters-level counselors with feedback to the UCC for students requiring next day follow-up.

This grant supplements the Universitys resources to maintain a supportive and knowledgeable community through enhanced identification, referral, and emergency services, said Robert A. Chernak, senior vice president for student and academic support services and associate professor for higher education administration. Too many of our students have experience with depression or suicidal behavior, either personally or among friends and colleagues. While we may not still be able to reach everyone in need, we now have more help in trying to make a difference.
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bettyellen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #73
99. this is dated nov 05... so it's after the incdent i guess.
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MountainLaurel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-13-06 09:25 AM
Response to Reply #73
146. Think the grant will be renewed now?
:eyes:
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ismnotwasm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
78. Wow
I'm speechless here, there has to be a better way than this, I understand the frivolous lawsuit fears, but jesus, the kid went to counseling, took medication, and when he felt out of control, he did the absoulutely right thing and checked himself into a hospital. I would think the University would be grateful that this young man sought help, was honest with his feelings, and took proactive action in the MIDDLE of a profound depression. He very easily could have been another suicide and then what? It sounds like the University went into panic mode.

Gets an impersonal dismissal in a psychiatric hospital. Nice.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
79. This is horrible!
That university needs to get sued to the brink of bankrupsy. How dare they do this!

:grr:
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brentspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 06:17 PM
Response to Original message
109. What "endangering behavior"?
His seeking psychiatric help classifies as "endangering behavior"?

Talk about damned-if-you-do/damned-if-you-don't.
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:51 PM
Response to Original message
125. very strange
nt
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rocktivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 08:54 PM
Response to Original message
127. WHAT "endangering" behavior?
He was concerned enough about how he was feeling to seek out help BEFORE he did anything that could endanger himself or others! I think that's the OPPOSITE of endangering behavior!

:headbang:
rocknation
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