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Link – His College Knew of His Despair. His Parents Didn’t, Until It Was Too Late

It’s easy to say after the fact that if someone at a college suspects a student is a danger to themselves, the parents should be notified. The reality though, is much more complicated than all of that:

“There’s a concern that if the school has too low a threshold for contacting family or suggesting a student take a leave of absence, it will actually discourage kids from coming forward for help,” said Dr. Victor Schwartz, the chief medical officer at the Jed Foundation, an advocacy group for student mental health. “So you’re basically walking a tightrope.”

In the cases shared in the article it seems like the school should have communicated with the parents, but what we’ll never know is how many kids would not seek help at all if it was well known that the school would do that. These are young adults, not minors. They have some right to privacy. You can’t make any blanket statements about how things should be handled. It really is a tightrope, and there are no easy answers that will fit every situation. sadly. If it was easy, we wouldn’t have the seeming epidemic that we currently do.

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