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Yale Law School Releases Report on Students’ Mental Health
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Summary: Yale Law School released the findings of a mental health survey sent to the entire student body at the law school. 

A new report from Yale Law School has found that 70 percent of law school students at Yale struggled with mental health issues during their law school careers, according to The Yale Daily News.


The students were surveyed as part of the school’s Mental Health Alliance survey.

The report was released on Monday and is the first to be released by the school of its kind. It is titled “Falling Through the Cracks.” An electronic survey was sent to all of the students at Yale Law School, of which there are some 650 students. There were 296 students who responded.

Of the 296 respondents, 50 percent of them said that mental health challenges hurt their ability to perform well in the classroom. Fifty-six percent of respondents said that the issues also affected their social lives.

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There were 82 students who sought treatment for their mental health problems, with one-quarter of them seeking help from professionals off-campus.

Jessie Agatstein, who is a member of the Mental Health Alliance and an author of the report, said, “One of our major goals is communicating a pretty simple message in the law school, which is that it’s normal for students to have mental health challenges while at YLS, and YLS provides woefully inadequate coverage for these problems, which are so common.”

Of the 296 students who responded, just 77 percent of them who suffered from mental health issues considered getting treatment. Of the 77 percent, 62 percent of them actually sought out treatment. The remaining 38 percent said they did not seek treatment because they did not trust the Yale Health Services confidentiality policies.

The report also found that students feared talking about mental health issues because if they did so, it would cause exclusion from administrators, faculty, peers and state bar associations.

The law school released the report on Monday at an event in a lecture hall. Some 100 law students were in attendance. They shared experiences with slow wait times and unclear policies for consultations when looking for treatment. They also spoke of negative experiences with Yale Health.

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Students also talked about not knowing how many mental health visits that are eligible for each year on the Yale Health plan.

“The 12 therapy visits per year policy is not public,” Agatstein said. “I should know that before I sign up for therapy.”

Matthew Kemp is a law student who also worked on the report. Kemp said, “One of the most shocking things is that well over half of the students have had a mental health issue and so many people have sought treatment but nobody talks about it, even among close friends. Once a bunch of people who seem super normal and cool and fun talk about it I think it would be a lot easier for [other] students.”

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Image credit: Yale Law School


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