"After not doing too well in my exams that year and being told I couldn’t do honours because of it, I went to see my advisor and told him about my situation. I then went to see my course advisor and took a letter from both my doctor and counsellor to back up my story. I later received an email stating that there was no room on honours for me and that I would have to take an alternative route. At the time I didn’t want to speak out about it as I was ashamed of my own condition but as I get older and wiser I realise that discrimination of those with mental illness is much deeper than I thought in individuals and within companies or institutions."
Interesting to me that as a faculty member naturally think of all the reasons that might have led to her being refused entry to honours. (Of course I know nothing about the situation.) She should have raised this earlier, she should retake the year or she will not be prepared for honours, we can only act with the information we have at the time we have it and our handbook clearly states ...
- Depression at University: It Took a Friend To Notice, by Victoria, March 21, 2013
Yes I'm updating this 40 minutes after writing it.
I struggled with so many thoughts and just couldn't get them down - or maybe just bottled out. So I just ended "And yet..."
The thoughts I was struggling with cover some of the following ground. Again, of course, without knowing the details of the situation.
This young woman has had her academic career ended early by depression, and most likely she could have completed her degree with honours because she was able to start it. So was she the victim of discrimination? And if she was, is it likely I could have been guilty of that kind of discrimination if I had been in the place of the academics who denied her entry into honours?
I think what worries me most is that I think the answer to the last question is probably "Yes". I did post the thoughts that naturally ran through my head, making it easy to go along with a decision to stop her moving into honours.
If it is discrimination what happened to Victoria, the arguments for doing the wrong thing are so seductive. They sound right.
End of Update.
P.s. This post comes from Time For Change, a UK organisation with slogan "let's end mental health discrimination". Its "about us" page says:
"Mental health problems are common - but nearly nine out of ten people who experience them say they face stigma and discrimination as a result. This can be even worse than the symptoms themselves. Time to Change is England's biggest programme to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination."They also host many other blog posts about School, College and University.