Yale University Updates Mental Health Policies

CW: Suicide & Psychiatric Disabilities

According to a joint statement from the institution and the plaintiffs, Yale has agreed to resolve a lawsuit alleging discrimination against students with mental health disabilities

The lawsuit filed in federal court in Connecticut last November by current students and the non-profit Elis for Rachael, said the Ivy League school forced students to withdraw when they displayed symptoms of a mental health disability.

Yale’s undergraduate division agreed in the settlement agreement to change numerous university policies involving mental health, such as allowing part-time study for students with urgent mental health needs and making it easier for students to return from medical leave. According to a university representative, many of these rules went into effect in January, and the remainder went into effect on Friday.

According to the November lawsuit, Yale officials forced students to take “voluntary” leaves of absence for at least one or two terms when they exhibited substantial mental health symptoms by threatening them with “involuntary” removal. According to the lawsuit, students who left the university were forbidden from visiting campus and participating in any campus events without prior authorization from the school.

Furthermore, the lawsuit identified instances in which students were had to be escorted by a police officer to retrieve their belongings from campus dorms after being withdrawn from the university.

According to the settlement’s changes to policies, police will only be present during these move-outs if there is a threat to students’ safety or a risk of disruption that no reasonable accommodations can mitigate.

Everyone should have access to mental health services. Too many people are struggling. Hopefully, Yale University’s response to the lawsuit will lead to better outcomes for all students.


Brown, Nicki, and Zoe Sottile. “Yale Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Alleging Discrimination Against Students With Mental Health Disabilities.” CNN, 29 Aug. 2023, http://www.cnn.com/2023/08/28/us/yale-mental-health-lawsuit-settlement/index.html.

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