Almost every day, a new study about the mental health of college students appears. By quoting some measure of grief, anxiety, burning sensation or unhealthy coping skills, these studies say the same thing: college students are struggling.
Before the epidemic was caught, the students’ understanding of mental health problems was growing and the stigma surrounding these problems was slowly breaking down. The epidemic, and how deeply it has affected young people, has brought the issue to the center of public conversation and is now in Washington.
President Joe Biden recently called on colleges to use the federal Covid Relief Fund to add mental health support to students, and by the end of June, the House of Representatives passed two bills related to the mental health of college students.
Rep. Susan Wilde, a Democrat from Pennsylvania who sponsored a bill proposing improved mental health services and suicide prevention programming on campus, said the unprecedented challenges students have faced over the past few years are contributing to mental health and the bill needs to address long-term effects. .
The bill encourages colleges to work with community organizations to build mental health support systems for students, as well as comprehensive campus planning to include everything from campaigns to ensure that available resources for training non-mental health professionals on campus are realized for students to understand caution. Can Signs of serious mental health problems, other safety measures on campus. The bill does not offer any funding; It further serves as a call to action.
It was passed in Parliament with 405 delegates voting in favor and 16 against.
“I think there’s a lot of commitment on both sides of the corridor to address this issue,” said Manuela McDonough, director of public affairs and advocacy at the Jedi Foundation, a nonprofit for mental health care for young people who have worked with Bill Wilde. “People are aware that our youth are struggling and are struggling even more now, as we deal with the epidemic and the fall of the epidemic.”
Although it has received overwhelming support in the House, Wilde’s bill is not currently scheduled to be raised in the Senate. McDonough said it was important to have bipartisan support, so they were working to find a Senate sponsor from each side and hoped to launch a Senate version of the bill before the end of the year.
“I think there are a lot of promises on both sides of the corridor to solve this problem. People are aware that our youth are struggling and are struggling even more now, as we deal with the epidemic and the fall of the epidemic. ”
Manuela McDonough, Director of Government Affairs and Advocacy, JD Foundation
The House also recently passed a bill that would require the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services to assist campuses with drug and alcohol abuse prevention and recovery programs and establish a five-year grant program to fund the programs. It passed the House, 371-49, but has not yet been scheduled for a Senate hearing.
Down the road, it is also possible that the law could be written into a larger bill or folded into a broader package of bills. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has indicated it is working on a package of bills related to mental health and substance abuse, but the bills have not yet been submitted. And in March, the Senate Finance Committee released a report on mental health and substance use, which separates children, adolescents and young people as five focus areas for future legislation.
The report highlights inequalities based on race, ethnicity, sexuality and geographical location, which the committee says lead to inequality in mental health and substance use outcomes. The goal of a draft policy published by the committee is to reduce the barriers to mental health care for young people at Medicaid.
Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon who chairs the Finance Committee, wrote that the goal is to “give every American access to mental health and substance abuse care when they and their loved ones need it.”
Hechinger Report has partnered with seven other newsrooms across the country to better understand the solutions that help students deal with mental health challenges and alleviate them. Last month, our consortium released eight stories exploring proposed solutions, ranging from peer counseling programs to schools that have contracted with private therapy providers, some expensive programs that help get college students back on track for mental health.
Please consider reading our consortium stories here:
Supportive students: The next key to mental health
After the absentee mental health vacation, students seek help to return to campus
This Texas College’s focus on mental health helps students through trauma
Mental Health: Is It a Job for School?
Peer support programs can fill access gaps for young people
To improve student wellness, Alabama invests in mental health coordinators
How a rural SC school is dealing with a shortage of therapists in district schools
Safe places in schools are spreading as a mental health intervention
Dr. has created this story about the mental health of students Hatchinger report, A non-profit, independent news organization focusing on inequality and innovation in education. Sign up for Hatchinger newsletter.