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Harvard Law School

Harvard Law Students Critical of Mental Health Study

Harvard Law students are calling on the law school to release its findings on student mental health.

The Harvard Crimson reports that posters accusing administrators of not addressing mental health concerns were plastered across campus last weekend as prospective law students visited the school.

“The administration is refusing to release — and actively covering up — data from this mental health survey, in part because they are trying to escape responsibility for their failing mental health support systems,” the posters read. “The student body and the broader public deserve to know how bad things are, and we must know to be part of any real conversation about change.”

The Survey

Harvard University Health Services originally conducted the survey back in November 2017 as part of a broader effort to address mental health issues, according to the Crimson.

The survey focused on three key topics: diagnosing incidents of mental health issues, measuring the adequacy of services available on campus, and the overall mental health culture and stigma at Harvard Law.

“We wanted to have some baseline data for our community as well and Harvard’s quite different from a lot of schools because we’re just so large,” Amanda Lee, the former Law School student government vice president, tells the Crimson back in 2017. “Having that information is really important for advocating for better services.”

Harvard Law’s Response

The law school has adamantly denied the accusation that it hasn’t released the survey results out of fear of public perception.

“The suggestion that the Law School is withholding information to protect its reputation or to wait students out is ridiculous and offensive,” Law School Dean of Students Marcia L. Sells writes in an email to students. “The well-being of our students is an important issue that we take very seriously, and we are committed to creating substantive solutions and support mechanisms for all of our students.”

Sells also noted that the law school is taking steps to improve overall student well-being at Harvard Law.

“While the survey results are in line with those seen among students in other professions and graduate programs, we are taking them seriously and they are an important indicator that all of us – in graduate programs and in the legal profession – must continue to work on this important issue,” Sells writes.

Sources: Harvard Crimson, Harvard Crimson