UVa Adopts New Mental Health Policy

By: Stephanie Satchell Email
By: Stephanie Satchell Email

April 14, 2008

The one year anniversary of the Virginia Tech shootings is this week and colleges and universities across the country have been making changes to ensure school safety.

UVa and all colleges in Virginia are implementing a new mental health policy for students.
The policy focuses on students who are a danger to themselves.

The new policy will require parents be informed if their child is mentally ill and at a point in their illness where they might hurt themselves or others.

This is just one of the safeguards the general assembly put in place to prevent Virginia Tech type incidents.

"Well we're trying to span the safety net ever wider and to give some parents more information that will help them help their youngsters and their children get the treatment they need if they're in crisis," said David Toscano, Delegate, 57th District.

"I think the policy will help parents feel reassured that they are being notified at an appropriate point in time," said Russ Federman, Counseling Director, UVa.

There is an exception to the new policy. If the health institution finds that notifying parents would be harmful to the student in any way parents would not be notified.

The counseling director at UVa doesn't want this new policy to scare students away. He wants them to know that visiting the counseling center doesn't automatically mean parents will be contacted.

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