York University (YU) cares about the mental health of the students who are enrolled at York University. Counseling services are available on campus at no charge to students who are enrolled at YU. There may be times when a student experiences an extreme psychological or mental health condition that would warrant an intervention in order to evaluate and assess the student’s mental health. The safety of the students at YU are a priority. YU students are encouraged to prioritize their mental health, safety, and to take appropriate steps in order to recover from whatever they may be experiencing, even if it means the academic process must be delayed. YU will support student-initiated self-care plans, and/or initiate actions, that consider the welfare of the individual student and the YU community.
Mental Health or Psychological Emergency Procedure
When a YU student experiences a mental health or psychological emergency the Director of the YU Counseling Center will be contacted. The licensed staff representing the counseling center will provide verbal instructions on what to do until the representative arrives at the scene with the student who is in crisis.
Once the representative arrives at the scene, the representative will be the one to determine what happens next. The representative will be the one to interact with the student in crisis and will assess and evaluate the student’s mental health by obtaining detailed information that will help determine what the next steps will be.
It is important for any individuals who are present at the time to be silent unless directed by the representative. There are times when a by-stander feels the need to engage or interact with the individual in crisis. When an individual is experiencing a psychological crisis and when more than one person is attempting to engage verbally with them, this tends to create confusion and can lead to an escalation of the situation. The representative will ask those who are present for information, if the need arises.
Once the representative has assessed and completed the evaluation, determining if the individual is experiencing suicidal or homicidal ideation, or is a threat to themselves or others, the next step will be to make sure the individual and the YU community are safe. If the individual verbalizes suicidal ideations or homicidal ideations, the local police will be contacted in order to come and complete their evaluation.
The representative will notify the YU Dean of Students and the Director of Student Life and Housing at this time providing information regarding the situation.
Once the police have completed their evaluation and it has been determined that the individual is a danger to themselves or others, the individual in crisis will be transported to York General Hospital for a mental health evaluation and screening in order to determine if admission is warranted to a psychiatric hospital or treatment facility.
If the results of York General’s evaluation has determined that the individual in crisis needs to be admitted to a mental health facility, the individual will be transported by law enforcement or ambulance to the determined facility. If the evaluation determines that there is not a need for admission, then the individual needs to arrange their own transportation to YU and meet with the Director of Counseling Services as soon as is feasible in order to determine a mental wellness plan.
The student will be responsible for any cost incurred by non-YU medical staff, treatment providers, or treatment facilities involved in the evaluation, assessment, and care of the student.
When responding to mental health situation, YU representatives reserve the right to determine appropriate response including, but not limited to, the following options:
1. Allow the student to remain in school pending the results of a psychological evaluation.
2. For safety reasons, once the student is admitted to the hospital for psychological treatment, he/she is not eligible to return to YU campus without approval from Dr. Ervin and the Dean of Students.
3. YU may choose to invoke a Mental Health Interim Restriction; encouraged a Voluntary Mental Health Withdrawal; or invoke an Involuntary Mental Health Withdrawal.
4. Notify the student’s parent (s) and appropriate University officials about a mental health or safety emergency.
Mental Health Interim Restriction
Students who are placed on a mental health restriction are temporarily not allowed to participate in any YU activities, attend classes, reside in or visit on-campus student housing, and may not be on campus except to attend a meeting or hearing related to their case. The student will be required to meet with the Director of Counseling Services in order to complete an assessment and evaluation in order to determine if the student is ready to return to YU. The Director of Counseling Services will present the results of the assessment to the YU Dean of Students.
Voluntary Mental Health Withdrawal
Students are encouraged to request a voluntary mental health withdrawal when they believe their mental health problems are preventing successful engagement in, and completion of, academic course work; when safety is in question; or when the demands of university life are interfering with the ability to recover from, or adjust to a significant mental health challenge.
Students interested in pursuing a voluntary medical withdrawal may wish to discuss this option with the Director of Counseling Services, or they may independently initiate the process through the registrar’s office. After the voluntary withdrawal is approved, the individual is no longer considered a student and must immediately leave the campus and, if applicable, officially check out of the on-campus housing.
Involuntary Medical Withdrawal
In rare circumstances, YU may determine that a student must be involuntarily withdrawn due to mental health reasons. Individuals who are withdrawn due to mental health reasons are not allowed to
participate in any University activities, attend classes, reside in or visit on-campus student housing, and may not be on campus except to attend a meeting or hearing related to their case.
Any student who has been placed on a mental health interim restriction or an involuntary medical withdrawal will need to complete the following clearance procedures before being allowed to return to YU. A student who takes a voluntary mental health withdrawal may be required to complete the clearance procedures. The following steps are designed to ensure that a health emergency no longer exists and a treatment plan for continuing good mental health and safety is in place.
The student must be assessed and evaluated by the YU Director of Counseling Services and the results of the evaluation will be presented to the YU Dean of students for review and final determination. The student will meet with the Dean in order to discuss the results of the evaluation and to present the final decision regarding the student’s status with YU. If the decision is for the student to remain at YU, they will be required to have regular meetings with a licensed representative of the counseling center and a treatment plan established. If the student refuses to comply with the treatment process, they will be discharged from YU.