CHICAGO – To help provide college students with better access to mental health resources, state Rep. Justin Slaughter, D-Chicago, recently supported legislation to require colleges and universities to develop support systems for students experiencing mental health issues.
“For many students, college can be an incredibly stressful and lead to a variety of mental health concerns, such as depression or anxiety,” Slaughter said. “Providing better mental health care and peer support resources to students is critical to their academic success, and we must take steps to expand access to the care they need.”
The Slaughter-backed House Bill 2152 creates the Mental Health Early Action on Campus Act and will require all public colleges and universities to form panels of mental health experts to help address mental health concerns among students. The legislation will also require institutions of higher education to work with local mental health service providers and create peer to peer support programs. In addition, the Illinois Board of Higher Education will also create a technical assistance center to support schools as they develop a mental health policy plan.
“Mental health is just as important as physical health, especially in high-stress environments like college campuses,” Slaughter said. “This legislation will help any students who are facing mental health issues gain access to the resources they need to thrive on college campuses.”