Students who have Psychological disorders
What are Mental Health / Psychological Disorders?
Mental Health disorders affect one in five Americans to an extent that
they have sought some form of treatment. Psychiatric conditions such as
depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress
disorder, substance abuse and eating disorders are considered
disabilities under the provisions of the ADA and as such, people with
medically recognized mental health issues are protected under the
legislation. Like many other medical conditions, mental health
disorders can change in severity from time to time. Because of this, we
encourage students with mental health-related disabilities to remain in
contact with our office to ensure they are getting the necessary
accommodations and support and to be prepared should they suddenly
What should I take into consideration when teaching a student with a mental health disorder?
Students with mental health disorders experience the same challenges
as any other student. However, depending on the nature of their
illness, they may face particular obstacles when dealing with stress or
knowing when to ask for help. If a student feels that they are
experiencing personal, social, or academic difficulties because of
their mental health, it is better for them to be proactive and seek
help sooner rather than later. Students can also be referred to the
Counseling Center or to Student Support and Crisis Management for
assistance as needed.
What information does SDS consider to be confidential?
Any disability that brings a student to our office will remain
confidential and students do not have to disclose the nature of their
disability to anyone else. Academic adjustment letters can be given
once a student has come to our office and provided the appropriate
medical documentation of their disability.
What other forms of mental health support are available to students for at The New School?
The New School offers psychological counseling to students in both
one-on-one appointments with counselors and therapy groups that focus
on specific areas, such as drug and alcohol harm reduction, having a
healthy relationship with food, sexuality, grief and stress management
at the Counseling Center in Loeb Hall.
The Office of Student Support and Crisis Management is also another
excellent resource for any student with mental health concerns.
What kinds of accommodations are typically provided to students with mental health disorders?
As always, the accommodations provided to a student are done so on a
case by case basis because each student has different needs. Often,
these students have conditions that can affect processing speeds and
also take medication that can slow down thought processes. A common
accommodation for a student who has a mental health disorder is
extended time on in class exams. Other accommodations may include
permission to tape record classes so as to prevent missing key points
Are students with psychological disorders required to adhere to the same attendance policy as other students?
All students, no matter what type of disability they may have are
expected to adhere to the same policies and procedures set forth by the
university. A student with a psychological disorder is not absolved of
the responsibility of attending classes. However, instructors are
encouraged to be flexible with attendance and deadlines if possible.
Typically, students who may have more absences due to a psychological
condition are willing to do all of the work required, but they may not
able to attend class as often as their peers. This may be especially
true of those students with conditions like bipolar disorder and
depression, where symptoms can flare up and cause an increase in
More information about attendance and disability can be obtained by contacting SDS and viewing the information on attendance and disability.
The office of Student Disability Services is available to answer any
questions you may have about mental health disorders, how to work with
students who have mental health disorders, or any other issues that may