Photo taken outside the office of Counseling and Mental Health Services. The door is closed. Photo by Michelle H. Aye | The Harvard Crimson
Photo taken outside the office of Counseling and Mental Health Services. The door is closed. Photo by Michelle H. Aye | The Harvard Crimson

Harvard’s Mental Health System Is Dehumanizing

At the center of Harvard’s mental health system is an ethos of distrust, paternalism, and surveillance. This ethos is exemplified by Tang’s case.


Last Thursday, a jury found Harvard Counseling and Mental Health Services employee Melanie G. Northrop not liable in a civil case pertaining to the suicide of Luke Z. Tang ’18. I am not a member of Tang’s family, nor did I ever know him. I am neither a legal scholar nor a psychiatrist. I cannot pretend to ascertain whether the decision was just.

Instead, I urge us to seize this moment to reflect on how Harvard’s mental health system has failed — and continues to fail — its students. In turn, we must demand reform to reduce the chances of such a tragedy ever happening again. Read more…


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