Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–March 14, 2013. Yesterday, Rep. Jan Schakowsky introduced the Mental Health on Campus Improvement Act, which would ensure that colleges and universities have the resources and support they need to address the growing mental health needs of campus communities. Colleges and universities are often not equipped to respond to the mental health needs of students.
“In light of the tragedies we have seen in the last year, Congress must not only address the issue of gun violence but also our country’s mental health system,” said Rep. Schakowsky. “Too many young people are living with a mental illness and not able to obtain the help they need, due to limited access or financial constraints. My bill would ensure that students who need help can get help. As a country, we need to take care of our young people who suffer from illnesses and provide them a supportive environment to seek the help they need.”
The Mental Health on Campus Improvement Act would ensure that colleges and universities have the resources and support they need to aid students.
• Grant Program: The bill would establish a funding stream to assist colleges and universities in providing direct mental health services and outreach to students, families, and staff to increase awareness of mental health issues. The funds may also be used to hire staff and expand mental health training opportunities.
• Public Education Campaign: The bill would call on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to create a public health awareness campaign around mental health and to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness for students. CDC would be required to seek input from national mental and behavioral health organizations and colleges and universities.
• Federal Leadership: The bill would establish an interagency working group on college mental health to discuss mental and behavioral health concerns and promote federal agency collaboration to support innovations in mental health services and supports for students on college and university campuses.