College student Rachel Williams wrote a frightening personal account of her experience with mental health care at Yale University.
In the essay she wrote for Yale Daily News, Williams recounts her time spent at the Yale-New Haven Hospital, where she was taken after telling her school counselor that she had cut herself. Williams was strip-searched and confined for a week, during which time she received limited treatment. In response to Williams' concern that she would feel more depressed if she were to leave school, she was told by a senior pyschiatrist, "We don't necessarily think you'll be safer at home. But we can't just have you here."
Ultimately, it was decided that Williams would have to withdraw from the university, with no guarantee of return. During the next year, she attended therapy sessions, reapplied for admission and was eventually readmitted.
William's powerful essay shines a light on the state of Yale's mental health care and criticizes the university for its failure to help students who do not conform to the positve, successful norm.
She writes, "I see that Yale is a fundamentally unhealthy place in one important way. The problem is, everyone is “okay"...to say something else, to be — in our own minds and in the minds of others — something else, is for some reason not acceptable at Yale. None of us are completely okay. But the pressure to conform to being perfectly functional and happy is a burden that we should neither want nor bear."