Adam He’s PO ’16 powerful guest op-ed this week is yet another account of a Pomona College student being on the receiving end of inadequate and counterproductive assistance by the school’s mental health safety net. Samantha Borje’s PO ’19 piece last week—and Yi Li’s PO ’14 before hers—illustrate that these dreadful stories are not anomalies.
It’s no secret that the protocol for dealing with mental health on campus is flawed and influenced by how mental health is regarded on a systemic level. As we reported several years ago, students have had numerous problems with the campus mental health care provider Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services. While the 5Cs have attempted to solve some of these issues, He’s and Borje’s accounts show us that there is so much to be done.
Although TSL cannot independently verify student accounts of their dealings with college mental health resources, we believe that it is still important to allow students to share such experiences. Given the stigmas and shame that too often accompany mental health issues, it is especially important to promote open dialogue about where the colleges are falling short and how they can increase support for students. We hope to continue to serve as a platform for students across the consortium who wish to express their dissatisfaction with their administrations in regards to mental health.
We admire the bravery of students who share such stories so that others will not have to suffer as they have, and we encourage our readers to use their stories as an opportunity to become more cognizant of how mental health impacts students on campus every day. Moving forward, we should not only pressure college administrators to improve the quality and transparency of mental health resources but also think about how we as individuals can make our communities more conducive to open dialogues about mental health.