That stigma has increased exponentially with the sustained violence throughout America. The current mindset is hardly compassion. It's fear.
Therefore, Harvard Law School's student government plan to conduct a mental health survey is quite well-meaning. But, it could have unintended negative effects on the careers of the current student body.
Also, there is already plenty of data on mental illness by the Yale Law School survey and that by the American Bar Association/Hazelden Betty Ford. Isn't this initiative somewhat redundant?
As for the unintended consequences ...
If there is a finding of a high incidence of mental illness at Harvard Law School, those overseeing bar admissions and those hiring at law firms/government/corporations might be wary of those particular graduates. The 1, 2 and 3 Ls can be branded as "mentally unstable."
But, come on, those taking the survey are smart. And likely cynical. Why would they bare their souls about struggles with depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and substance abuse?
So, will the results of the survey be valid?
Also, we know that, despite all the federal laws about privacy of healthcare records, there are legal ways to gain access. Harvard Law students "taking advantage" of treatment at the university could be creating a "record" which can be as much a burden as the "record" of someone serving time in prison.
Of course, in some situations, not getting treatment could derail the students' studies.
The worst-case scenario is suicide. Seeking treatment might be the best of lousy options, given the stigma.
But the university should apply its considerable resources to creating a way to ensure total privacy and confidentiality for those students.
Also, there are proven alternatives to traditional psychotherapy. They range from mindfulness to aerobics. Are students aware that there is documentation of their effectiveness?
Meanwhile, students should be circumspect about their internal struggles. Once I stopped "sharing" about my down moods those on my networks treated me with more respect. In addition, my mood lifted when I didn't look so much and so often inside.
Place your sponsored content and links on this syndicated site. High Google Rankings. Brandname inbound links. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for complimentary consultation.