Students and alumni of Yale University accused the school of "systemic discrimination against students with mental health disabilities" in a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Connecticut.

The 41-page lawsuit alleges that Yale discriminated against students with mental health disabilities and pressured students to withdraw from the school after showing mental health symptoms. The lawsuit does not seek monetary damages, but requests changes to Yale's alleged discriminatory practices and policies.

Several current and former students alongside a non-profit advocacy group, Elis for Rachael, filed as plaintiffs in the proposed class-action case. Elis for Rachael was created in 2021 following the suicide of Yale freshman Rachael Shaw-Rosenbaum. The filing includes accounts by two student plaintiffs, Alicia Abramson and Hannah Neves.

Abramson, a 22-year-old junior, said she was denied disability accommodations for her depression, insomnia, and eating disorder. Abramson says she was forced to withdraw because Yale does not allow students to attend part-time, allowing her time to address mental health concerns. She has since been readmitted to Yale and is on track to graduate next fall.

"There's some fear of retaliation," Abramson said of the choice to pursue legal action against the institution. "But at this point, Yale has done so much to me already, anything more would be like a drop in the bucket. And if I've learned anything from all I've been through the past few years, it's that I can handle it."

Following a hospitalization from an aspirin overdose during her junior year, Neves alleges that school officials visited her in the hospital and encouraged her to withdraw.

She was withdrawn involuntarily by the school and was only allowed to retrieve the things in her room alongside a police escort. As an international student on a student visa, Neves was forced to return to Brazil within 15 days. She forfeited some of the tuition she had previously paid and lost her university health insurance as a result. Neves was eventually permitted to return in spring 2021 and is currently on track to complete her degree.

Students who withdraw must reapply to be readmitted. According to the filing, the withdrawal process alongside the readmission process presents "unreasonable burdens on students who withdraw for disability-related reasons and discourage students from withdrawing from Yale due to a disability when that is appropriate."

A November statement from Yale's president says that the school has been reviewing its withdrawal policies since September.

"We have taken steps in recent years to simplify the return to Yale for students on medical withdrawals and to provide additional support for students. We are also working to increase resources to help students. The university is confident that our policies comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Nonetheless, we have been working on policy changes that are responsive to students' emotional and financial wellbeing," a Yale spokesperson said Wednesday.

The suit cited a Nov. 11 Washington Post report that chronicled the mental health stories of over 25 students and alumni of Yale.

"The law requires them to give reasonable accommodations and modifications to any policies necessary to give disabled students full and equal participation. If a university has stairs instead of ramps, students in wheelchairs can't participate. The same rules apply when students have mental health disabilities," said Maia Goodell, a lawyer representing the students.