In today’s news, Yale University was charged with discriminating against students who have issues with mental health in a complaint that was filed on Wednesday. Meanwhile, according to University of East Anglia research, those who were on the front lines of the Covid outbreak need mental health care to help them cope with or recover from the stress and trauma they experienced. Additionally, overwhelming data shows that Oklahoma teens’ mental health got worse in 2021.
Students sue Yale for alleged mental health discrimination
Yale University was sued on Wednesday for discriminating against mental health students.
Elis for Rachael and two Yale undergraduates filed the 41-page lawsuit on behalf of all Yale students with mental health issues. According to Yale Daily News, the plaintiffs claim Yale penalizes mental health withdrawals.
Alumni and family of Yale first-year Rachael Shaw-Rosenbaum, who committed suicide in 2021, formed Elis for Rachael.
After a Washington Post piece questioned Yale’s mental health policies, the lawsuit followed. After that, authorities openly defended the university’s services and mental health initiatives.
The lawsuit alleges that the university failed to help and accommodate students with mental problems despite changes.
One student complaint, Yale junior Alicia Abramson, told Yale Daily News that the university has done “the bare minimum.”
“Yale has declined to make significant reforms to rules that discriminate against students with mental health challenges despite our legally protected rights to accommodations,” Abramson added.
Yale’s mental health policies are accused of violating the ADA, ACA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Fair Housing Act. Plaintiffs rejected cash recompense. They urged Yale mental health policy improvements.
Yale alumna and Elis for Rachael organizer Alicia Floyd told the Yale Daily News that the lawsuit seeks to improve the university.
“Our first aim is to compel Yale to listen to students and perhaps give them some practice and develop their talents for the future,” Floyd said.
Yale Interim Vice President of Communications Karen Peart told the Yale Daily News that university authorities consider students’ “safety and health, especially when they are most vulnerable” and are “assured” their procedures comply with applicable regulations and laws.
The Yale class-action case is part of the higher education mental health issue.
Stanford University settled a student-led lawsuit three years ago by abolishing obligatory mental health leave and providing greater handicap accommodations for students who stay. According to the Yale Daily News, Brown University made improvements last year after a Justice Department inquiry.
Due to campus suicides, Penn established the Mental Health Task Force on Student Psychological Health and Welfare in 2016. Penn students ask how regulations have failed to address suicides.
Care home nurses require mental health support after Covid trauma
According to University of East Anglia research, survivors of the COVID-19 epidemic need mental health care to cope with stress and trauma.
Today’s article examines the pandemic effects on care home nurses.
It reveals how care home nurses were unprepared for their situation, affecting their mental health.
The research team recommends a mental health and wellness plan for frontline workers to recover from pandemic trauma and moral suffering.
“Our research demonstrates that care home nurses were unprepared for the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected their mental health.
They managed a deadly new disease in individuals with severe clinical circumstances.
They did this with staff shortages, continuously changing and conflicting guidelines, and little external expert support.
Healthcare workers are still recovering. Many will need mental health treatment and time to recuperate from the pandemic.
Maintaining a healthy workforce requires helping care home nurses recover from the pandemic.”
-Diane Bunn, UEA Health Sciences School Lead Researcher
Care home nurses in England and Scotland were interviewed about the pandemic. They prioritized nurses’ mental health and resiliency.
“All of the nurses we spoke to recalled being attentive to others, but less attentive to their own needs, which came at personal cost,” said Bunn.
“Many lessons may be learned to support their recovery and ensure suitable policies are in place in preparation for the next pandemic,” she said.
The study suggests ways to assist nurses cope and prepare for future pandemics. Examples:
- Customized mental health and wellbeing plan for care home nurses throughout pandemic recovery and future pandemics and calamities.
- Recognizing care home nurses’ specialized skills.
- Reconsider care home pandemic and disaster preparations.
- Care home nurses developing disaster-response plans.
- Consistency and research-based recommendations communication.
“Support for care home nurses would certainly benefit other care-home workers either directly through wider roll-out or indirectly through increased nurse leader wellbeing,” Bunn said.
East Anglia and Leicester researchers led this study. Burdett Trust for Nursing and National Institute for Health and Care Research financed it (NIHR).
Teenage mental health issues are highlighted by a recent survey
Original source: Recent survey highlights teen mental health struggles
Oklahoma’s teen mental health declined in 2021.
Nearly half of Oklahoma high school students were depressed in the latest Oklahoma Youth Behavior Risk Survey by the Oklahoma State Health Department.
Oklahoma’s public high school students’ mental health and stability are assessed by the YRBS.
Using Center for Disease Control procedures, 50 randomly selected schools were surveyed in autumn 2021. Random classes participated.
Stillwater High School was surveyed.
SHS Principal Walter Howell said the poll is done every two years and grades are picked randomly. They inform schools whether to incorporate eighth- and 10th-grade levels or seventh- and 12th-grade levels.
“Anonymous survey,” Howell said. “Students are honest.”
Howell said the survey asks many questions, including whether students had tried alcohol or vaping in the past 30 days. This survey found that 50 percent fewer Oklahoma youths tried smoking and 20 percent fewer texted or emailed while driving.
Howell noted that anxiety and sadness raise many questions. “It’s getting worse. We do our best for our kids.”
Howell is delighted the school and staff can provide someone to talk to pupils, but things were different 10 years ago.
Howell said pupils often saw counselors outside of school. “I’m grateful that we’re able to assist give that, (but) it’s a newer thing that it’s now a daily (occurrence).”
Howell says he’s noticed an increase in teen mental health difficulties beyond COVID-19’s impact.
Mental health awareness is one factor. Teen poverty, homelessness, a lack of direction after high school, and personal circumstances that prohibit kids from attending class are further reasons.
Howell said some students face adult difficulties. “We have students working to aid their family, students giving childcare for siblings. Students miss school for some of those reasons and it affects them down the road.”
Beyond these difficulties, Howell said the epidemic affected youths’ mental health in Stillwater and the surrounding communities.
“I do think the epidemic made things a lot worse, because it separated so many people,” Howell said, “and those of us in education know that’s not the way you offer education best. Education is social.”
Howell said a tiny proportion of SHS students have persisted with their virtual program because it’s a good fit, but most perform better in person.
In February 2022, nonprofit Inseparable Inc.’s America’s School Mental Health Report Card ranked Oklahoma 28th in child and adolescent wellbeing. Oklahoma has 54,000 children with depression, 30,000 of whom are untreated.
They also determined that Oklahoma had one school counselor per 421 pupils (the recommended ratio is 1:250).
Howell said SHS has four counselors for 1,200 students, including one social worker and one high-needs counselor who serve the elementary schools.
“The puts us at roughly one counselor per 300 pupils or so, which gets us closer to that ideal ratio,” Howell said.
Kira Frisby, a district administrator, organized counselors for students and employees after Stillwater High girls’ basketball coach Kendra Kilpatrick’s death. Payne County Youth Services and GRAND Mental Health assisted.
SHS counselors serve many needs but are not grief counselors.
Howell said high school counseling includes career counseling and college planning. “We were delighted to get a fourth counselor a few years ago.”
Despite not having therapists, its counselors and employees receive a lot of mental health awareness training from the district each year. The district allowed outside counselors to utilize office space at the school and visit with pupils during the day.
Howell said mental health symptoms vary.
Howell said some pupils will act out and get into problems. However, it will marginalize many students. They don’t attend gatherings or participate like they used to.
Howell said teenagers’ faces reveal much.
“Young folks always tell you what they’re thinking,” Howell remarked. “It’s indirect. Their room isolation or lack of family communication tells you something. Check odd things. If you listen, they’ll tell you.”
Howell said the school, along with counselors, connects parents and children with resources. They refer families to PCYS and GMH.
The CDC recommends keeping kids linked to school and family for mental health.
Principal Howell concurs.
“I believe the essential thing is just to let them know you’re paying attention and you notice them, you care about them,” he said. “That’s one of our main jobs as teachers.”
Summary of today’s mental health news
Overall, Yale University was sued for discriminating against students with mental health issues. The 41-page suit was brought by Yale student mental health group Elis for Rachael and two current Yale undergraduates on behalf of all Yale students with mental health issues. According to Yale Daily News, the plaintiffs contend that Yale imposes stricter restrictions on students who leave the campus for mental health-related reasons.
Additionally, the pandemic’s impact on care home nurses is examined in the new research. It reveals how care home nurses’ mental health was affected by their unpreparedness. These frontline workers need a mental health and wellness strategy to recover from trauma and moral distress after the pandemic, according to the research team.
Finally, the Oklahoma State Health Department’s most recent Oklahoma Youth Behavior Risk Survey found that over half of high school students in the state struggled with depression. The YRBS is a statewide health behavior survey of public high school students in Oklahoma that assesses mental health and stability. In fall of 2021, 50 randomly selected schools were surveyed using Center for Disease Control procedures. Classes were randomly selected.