I don’t know what you see. Maybe it’s color; maybe it’s spirit. I see a violent history that has been reproduced in a camouflaged modern-day form.
The real resolution to this fragmented mosaic, though, is not a nudge towards the numbers — but instead, through active recognition that departure is not the only stage of the leave of absence process that can become tainted by coercive, confusing moves; and by seeking to alter the aging, souring patterns of action that University metrics and aggregations do not reflect, but which have, for years, served to push students away.
Institutional policies are not only about inky dents on canvas, or about pages of simplified rules. But the accounts that I have gathered since then, some of which are still untold, suggest that there’s much more to this mismatch between Harvard policy and practice.
The opportunity for digital reformation in mental health care hasn't been grabbed at Harvard.
And those who care, I’m convinced, will find a way to deliver. Maybe that includes bringing iHope back in the game — after all, CAMHS has proved that it has the infrastructural capacity to forge such partnerships. Maybe it means more proactively soliciting donations; or maybe it means something else entirely.
Maybe improving mental health at Harvard really is a story of competing priorities. Or perhaps this is just another case of the Harvard administration’s notorious tendency to overpromise and underdeliver. Maybe it’s a bitter mix of both.
In whatever approach we pursue, we should reject the impulse to draw upon shame as a weapon. Shame doesn’t just blunt growth — it’s also inherently antithetical to change.
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