My understanding is that universities started taking a much more self-interested (and cruel) approach to mental health crises after an infamous immolation suicide at MIT in 2002. The title of a NYT piece speaks volumes: Who Was Responsible For Elizabeth Shin? (Shortly before that was a gruesome murder-suicide at Harvard which also brought up liability issues that made universities squirrely about protecting corporate interests at all costs.)
Why the hell should a college be a medical and mental health services provider? That seems like an absurd amount of mission creep.
I went to a small state university. I had something of a nervous breakdown in my last semester of college because of stresses related to finding a new job, moving, having to meet new people, etc. I started having constant, overwhelming anxiety about it, to the point where I was wondering if I'd ever be able to hold down a job, or, I dunno, have one goddamn day that wasn't a desperate slog just to get through it.
I started going to my university's counseling service. After an in-take appointment, I met weekly with a counselor that they matched me with until the end of the semester, about two month. It was so good for me. My counselor was a really good fit, and they helped think about and manage my anxiety (which has been a big deal in my life since my early teens) in different ways.
I'm feeling a lot better now, (this happened about 6 months ago) although not quite 100%. I really don't know where I would be if I hadn't been able to get free counseling.
So at least some schools do a very good job of providing mental health care to some students. I find the idea of just straight-up telling students, as blanket advice, "don't use your school's mental health services" to be too narrow. Some schools do a good job at this. Lots of people go to those schools and can't afford to get help elsewhere. Telling those students to go see a "real doctor" instead is unhelpful.
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