U of T approves mandatory leave policy for students with mental health issues

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A policy that could place students with mental health issues on a mandatory leave of absence if deemed necessary is being criticized by student groups and the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

Under the policy, a mandatory leave would be considered if the university’s administration becomes aware of a student who poses a risk of harm to themselves or others, and mental illness is believed to be involved.

According to the university, the policy states that a regulated health professional will be consulted as part of the consideration of a mandated leave of absence.

The university is taking pains to explain that not all students with mental health issues will be asked to stay home, as this would only apply in cases when all other accommodative measures have been unsuccessful, or the student has refused to cooperate.

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The university’s various student unions also released a joint statement earlier this week saying the policy discriminates against students with mental health issues.

The university said there have been more than 18 months of consultations on the policy.

But in the light of so many tragic incidents involving students with mental health issues across North America, this policy gives university the tools required to deal with some individuals who could pose a danger and could impact the safety and security of others around him or her. – CINEWS


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