Bipartisan Bills Pass for Better Mental Health Resources at College
Jillian Whitson | July 20, 2022
Recently, two bipartisan bills have passed through the House that aim to help alleviate the growing need for mental health services on college campuses, as addressed by “Bills to Address Mental Health, Addiction on Campus Pass House”, by Meghan Brink. Health concerns such as depression and anxiety have skyrocketed across college campuses in recent years. According to “Mental Health of College Students Is Getting Worse” by Jessica Colrossi, mental health problems have increased steadily. Since 2013, there’s been a 135% increase in depression and 110% increase in anxiety among college students. For racial and ethnic minorities, these statistics are even higher. It is important to have effective resources readily available for students to be able to access easily. With the pandemic, the need for mental health services on college campuses are at an all time high as more students are in need of such services.
Many colleges are aware of the growing need to have essential mental health services on campus and have ranked mental health a primary concern. Many colleges have also taken note of the increased use of mental health services on campus. In the American Rescue Plan, colleges were given money to hopefully address the lack of mental health services, but many colleges didn’t have the type of resources required to provide effective programs in order to treat students. Without effective mental health services, students may turn to alcohol and substance abuse, which is another problem that many college campuses face.
These two bipartisan bills passed by the House aim to relieve these concerns. The bill will help colleges create new policies to tackle the rise in mental health needs. The first bill focuses on the wide range of mental health while the second focuses on substance abuse. Both bills address these concerns through “evidence-based programs” to create the most effective solutions. These bills will be an especially big help for smaller colleges that most likely have limited resources and capabilities in place to treat mental health.