April 24th, 2014 | University

“Speak Out” challenges mental health policies

On Cross Campus Wednesday afternoon, Yale students took a stand against current policies on student withdrawal and readmission for mental health reasons.

Attended by over 60 people, “Speak Out” featured 11 Yale students’ accounts of their experiences with mental illness at Yale. Organizer Christopher Landry ’15 said he created the event to keep the conversation of mental health alive on campus and to advocate for specific changes in the withdrawal and readmission mental health policies that should protect students on campus and not punish them for their sickness.

Landry said he made the choice to host the event during Bulldog Days in order to expose prospective freshmen to the mental health dialog on campus.

“If the administration is afraid to be talking about mental health [at Bulldog Days] it’s because something is wrong and that needs to change,” he said.

The five student speakers presented true stories by Yale students that originated from personal statements as well as Op-ed columns in the Yale Daily News. The pieces ranged from accounts of challenging experiences with mental health counselors to handling a campus culture that does not allow students to openly discuss their illnesses.

Michael Aguero-Sinclair, who is visiting campus for Bulldog Days and attended “Speak Out,” said the event encouraged him to pick Yale.

“I’m happy that people are talking openly about [mental health] and that there is actually a place where students are talking about it openly on campus,” Aguero-Sinclair said.