AURORA, Ill. – Legislation supported by state Rep. Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora, to require all public universities to increase services and support for students suffering with mental health issues was recently signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
“The transition from high school to college can be daunting, and being away from home for the first time is never easy,” said Hernandez. “Mental health issues for college-aged adults has been increasing in recent years, and we must do more to combat the issue. It is not always easy to seek help when one needs it, so with this act we are ensuring that the resources available to students are clear and prominent on college campuses.”
Hernandez backed House Bill 2152, which creates the Mental Health Early Action on Campus Act. Under this legislation, Illinois public colleges will be required to create an expert panel to create and expand policies and procedures designated for mental health support and prevention. The legislation will create peer support programs, as well as mental health training, so that each person on campus will not only have access to services, but will be able to detect signs of a peer experiencing a decline in their mental well-being.
“We must be taking mental health seriously, especially among the younger population,” said Hernandez. “At the end of the day, a student’s mental and physical health should be a top priority for schools, and I applaud the governor for expanding these life-saving services throughout Illinois.