SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island, is addressing the spread of mental health problems on college campuses with his passage of legislation requiring public colleges to develop robust systems of support for students who may be experiencing mental health crises.
“Too many college students face serious mental health conditions and we have not done enough to address this issue,” Halpin said. “During one of the most important developmental stages in their lives, young people are fighting through anxiety, panic attacks, depression and even suicidal thoughts. The stress which comes with attending a university can be overwhelming for some students, and it’s important that the legislature help provide the resources and help that students need.”
Halpin helped pass the Mental Health Early Action on Campus Act, or House Bill 2152, which requires Illinois public colleges and universities to form panels of mental health experts to deal with issues that are common on campuses, such as depression and anxiety. The legislation also requires the Illinois Board of Higher Education create a technical assistance center to support schools’ mental health policy plan development.
“One in four students on college campuses has been treated for mental health problems,” Halpin said. “Clearly the issue is widespread and we need to ensure our schools can offer the aid that students need. Illinois is in the middle of growing its education system, and providing proper mental health care is not an aspect that can be ignored.”