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Jan. 18, 2019 Update from Sidney Evans, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students:
We have received inquiries about steps that we have taken in recent months to address student mental health concerns. In the 2018-19 Academic Year, Student Health and Counseling has added the following resources:
To: The Washington and Lee CommunityFrom: Sidney Evans, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of StudentsDate: Jan. 15, 2019
Several media outlets have reported on a lawsuit filed last week by a former student against the university and one of our staff members, alleging negligence in responding to the student's mental health needs.
While we are aware of the community's interest based on this media coverage, we cannot share any information regarding an individual student's situation or health records, nor are we able to comment on pending litigation. I do, however, want to address the broader issue of mental health, which is a serious one both here at W&L and on college campuses nationwide. The health and well-being of all of our students is paramount to us, and we are continually evaluating the services that we provide students in response to their complex and evolving needs. I have confidence in the professionalism and compassion of our staff members, who work extremely hard to provide exceptional resources in this area.
I encourage everyone to explore the wide range of services and resources that are available by going to the University Counseling website. Included on this site is information about how to get access to care in the event of a mental health emergency. That information can also be found on the Student Life website under the Get Help Now banner.
In addition, please be aware of other individuals and resources available for students who need help or students, faculty and staff who are aware of someone needing help. These include Residential Life staff, Peer Counselors, Class Deans, Public Safety officers, and the Student Health Center staff, who are available 24/7 when undergraduate classes are in session and during exam periods. Student Health nurses are available after business hours with medical and/or counseling providers on call.
The off-campus options for mental health emergencies in Lexington include the Rockbridge Area Community Services Behavioral Health Crisis Hotline at 855-222-2046 and Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital emergency department at 540-458-3300. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also available at 800-273-8255.
If you have questions, I encourage you to contact me or Dr. Jane Horton, director of Student Health and Counseling.