SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Students attending Illinois colleges and universities could soon be feeling a little less stress if House Bill 2152, sponsored by state Rep. Joyce Mason, D-Gurnee, is approved by the Illinois General Assembly this month. The primary objective of House Bill 2152 is to create the Mental Health Early Action on Campus Act, which bolsters mental health awareness at Illinois schools by working with students, local health organizations and medical experts to implement additional mental health resources on college campuses across the state.
“For decades, stigma has told college students struggling with their mental health that the only options are keep quiet or toughen up,” said Mason. “This type of attitude is detrimental to mental health and has resulted in countless students resorting to harmful coping mechanisms, such as self-harm or suicide.”
According to the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH), one in five college students in the U.S. experiences a mental illness. NIMH has also reported that the second leading cause of death on U.S. college campuses is suicide. Mason’s House Bill 2152 is intended to address gaps in mental health services on college campuses by establishing peer-to-peer support programs for students living with mental health conditions, as well as implementing partnerships between college campuses and local mental health providers.
“We are facing a mental health crisis in our country, created by a combination of stigma, ignorance and fear,” said Mason. “Only by passing new legislation to expand mental health resources can we truly begin to combat this stigma. I urge my fellow legislators in the Senate to join the fight to destigmatize mental health with a yes vote.”
For more information, please contact Mason’s constituent service office at 847-485-9986 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.