Senators Durbin, Collins and Rep. Schakowsky Introduce Mental Health on Campus Improvement Act
March 24, 2009 – Today, Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), and Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) introduced bipartisan legislation, “The Mental Health on Campus Improvement Act” (S.682), which will create a grant program to fund colleges’ efforts to promote education to help identify students with mental health needs, and support counseling centers who provide treatment for students on campus.
“As an organization that prides itself on raising awareness about mental health on college campuses, Active Minds is proud to support this legislation and the efforts of Senators Durbin, Collins and Representative Schakowsky,” said Alison Malmon, founder and Executive Director of Active Minds, a non-profit organization that promotes mental health and wellness on college campuses. I know I speak for each and every member of our nearly 200 chapters when I say that this bill will make incredible strides in improving the mental wellbeing of students across America.”
S.682 would provide colleges and universities with the necessary resources, personnel, and support that students require at an age when mental health issues often first present by:
- Establishing a grant program within the Department of Health and Human Services 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.
- Calling on 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.
- Providing federal leadership by establishing 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.
Active Minds is the only national organization dedicated to utilizing the student voice to raise mental health awareness on college campuses. Since its founding in 2003, Active Minds has become the young adult voice in mental health advocacy and the organizational catalyst for student-based mental health awareness on college and university campuses. Active Minds’ chapters are changing the conversation about mental health on college campuses throughout the United States and Canada.