Academically advanced students from around the world turn to CTY for challenging educational experiences and to meet other students who share their interests and intellectual abilities. Our Online and On-Campus Summer managers work with instructors and other program staff to facilitate a socially and emotionally supportive community for all students by:

  • Fostering communication between students, families, and staff about any concerning behavior
  • Training staff in recognizing students in distress and fostering safe, supportive, and responsive educational environments
  • Responding empathically and offer support when challenges arise
  • Encouraging students to use healthy coping strategies and to seek help when needed

Academic counselors at CTY's in-person sites conduct training and coach staff on these matters, and they are available to meet individually with students. While academic counselors may have experience as mental health providers outside of CTY, they are not hired to provide mental health diagnosis or treatment during CTY programs. CTY does not provide: 

  • diagnosis or treatment of any mental health condition
  • treatment of high-risk or substantially disruptive behaviors that involve the potential for injury or death to participants or staff

High risk or disruptive behaviors

Students who engage in high-risk or disruptive behaviors while participating in CTY may receive a medical withdrawal or behavioral dismissal, depending on the circumstances, at the discretion of administration assessed on a case-by-case basis. 


High-risk behaviors include, but are not limited to:

  • intended or actual violence toward oneself (for example, suicide or self-injury) or others 
  • leaving a site without permission 
  • disordered eating
  • sexual misconduct
  • substance use 

 Disruptive behavior includes significant actions that substantially impact a participant’s own or others’ ability to benefit from CTY programming. 

Students in mental health treatment (or who discontinued treatment within the past three months) 

CTY recommends that students who have exhibited high-risk or disruptive behaviors have been progressing in treatment and to have been safe at home for at least 12 weeks prior to attending a residential on-campus program. Those who have exhibited high-risk or disruptive behavior and plan to attend a residential CTY program sooner than 12 weeks after changes in mental health care (frequency, provider, or approach) or dosage adjustment (titration) of psychotropic medication such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, stimulants, antipsychotics, or mood stabilizers, may benefit from having a conversation with their prescribing psychiatrist or primary treating mental healthcare provider about whether the rigorous academic and social programing and residential environment at CTY is appropriate.


Our day or online programming may be a more appropriate placement for students who may be overwhelmed by the demands of residential programming.

Sharing information with CTY about your child’s treatment  

Students with documented social, emotional, learning, physical, psychological, or other disabilities are encouraged to contact CTY’s Office of Disability Services to request accommodations or discuss whether accommodations may be appropriate given your child's individual needs and the CTY program context, which is different from traditional schools and camps. 

Students who have been in mental health treatment within the past six months may benefit from sharing the following typewritten information about their treatment via their CampDoc form or with their site’s academic counselor at check-in: 

  • Effective and healthy coping strategies specific for the student
  • Situations (times, environments, activities) that might trigger big emotions or difficult behaviors
  • Behaviors that may be warning signs they are going through something difficult
  • A safety plan developed in collaboration with a mental health provider


Sharing this information will not impact your child’s ability to attend CTY, and will help prepare CTY staff to better support them, if needed. CTY will respect their privacy and will share information provided only with the other staff members who can use the knowledge to improve the student’s experience. Please note that sharing this information is not the same as completing a formal disability disclosure or request for accommodations. If you have questions, contact your site’s Program Manager before the program starts.