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  • Joanne Jacobs

Suicidal students: What can universities do?

Yale discriminates against students with mental-health issues, according to a lawsuit filed this week, reports William Wan in the Washington Post. Current and former students charge they were pressured to withdraw after suicide attempts or threats; some were withdrawn without their consent.

Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) wants federal authorities to ban involuntary medical leaves as "discrimination against students with disabilities and mental health problems," reports Wan.


Stanford was sued in 2018 by students who said they were forced to leave campus after seeking help from depression and suicidal thoughts.


Stanford soccer goalie Katie Meyer killed herself on March 1 after learning she'd face a disciplinary hearing.

Colleges are stressful places. An on-campus suicide is an administrator's nightmare.


A Stanford soccer star killed herself hours after learning she'd be charged with throwing coffee on a male classmate, and now her parents are suing the university, claiming the harsh discipline policy led to her suicide, reports Brittany Shammas in the Washington Post.


Katie Meyer, 22, received an email saying she'd face a disciplinary hearing for "causing a physical injury" to the male student, a football player who'd been accused of kissing a soccer player without her consent. She said the coffee spill was an accident. He hadn't filed a complaint. Somehow, it was reported anyhow. Meyer, who planned to apply to law school, was told a hold was being placed on her degree and she could be expelled, according to court documents.

"The lawsuit comes as college students report suffering higher rates of depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation," writes Shammas. "At least nine Stanford students have died by suicide since 2019, the complaint said. It argued that the prestigious university’s high-achieving students have perfectionist tendencies that result in heightened pressure and stress."


Colleges are having a hard time recruiting therapists for students in crisis, writes Mark Kreidler on The 74. "Across the country, college students are seeking mental health therapy on campus in droves, part of a 15-year upswing that has spiked during the pandemic. U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy in December issued a rare public health advisory noting the increasing number of suicide attempts by young people."


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