For the duration of Mental Overall health Awareness Month, legislators introduce Student Mental Overall health Rights Act, legislation requiring the Division of Education to problem guidance to colleges, universities on upholding civil rights
Bill Text (PDF)
Washington (May perhaps 25, 2023) – For the duration of Mental Overall health Awareness Month, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chair of the Senate Overall health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee on Principal Overall health and Retirement Safety, and Representative Katie Porter (CA-47) now announced the introduction of Student Mental Overall health Rights Act, legislation that would call for the Division of Education (DOE), in consultation with the Assistant Lawyer Basic of the Civil Rights Division of the Division of Justice (DOJ), publish guidance for colleges and universities to much better help students with mental overall health disabilities and substance use disorder and to assure they are meeting current federal civil rights laws. To inform the guidance, the legislation also would call for the Secretary of Education to gather information on the prevalence of mental overall health disabilities and substance use issues at colleges and universities, overview very best practices for supporting students, and assess present policies at academic institutions with regards to leaves of absence.
Wholesome Minds Network (HMN) reported that from 2021 to 2022, 44 % of college student suffered from depression and 37 % suffered from anxiousness. Having said that, students reported barriers to accessing care for these and other mental overall health disabilities, like economic price, lack of accessible appointments and confusion on exactly where to seek support. Students with disabilities are protected by civil rights laws, like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act, and the Fair Housing Act. But, disabled students continue to report discrimination, economic burdens and the denial of affordable accommodations, which forces students to take involuntary healthcare leaves of absence, and in some situations, tends to make their requests for voluntary leaves of absence challenging to access or return from.
“We are in the midst of a mental overall health crisis, but for as well lengthy, we have left students and their schools with no a roadmap for navigating it,” stated Senator Markey. “Failing to give students and institutions of larger education the sources they require to help students experiencing a mental overall health crisis or substance use disorder implies failing to give all students the chance for complete and equal access to an education. This legislation will help students who have faced discrimination even though delivering clarity to academic institutions about their responsibilities to defend students’ civil rights.”
“Our young men and women can not thrive and succeed if we do not seriously address our nation’s mental overall health crisis,” stated Representative Porter. “The laws we have on the books are not translating into protections for students, which is a sign we need to redouble our efforts to get schools to comply with mental overall health safeguards. My Student Mental Overall health Rights Act with Senator Markey will support make campuses safer for students in crisis.”
A copy of the Student Mental Overall health Rights Act can be located Right here.
Cosponsors of the legislation incorporate Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Joe Courtney (CT-02), and Darren Soto (FL-09).
The Student Mental Overall health Rights Act is endorsed by American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, American Psychological Association, Anxiousness and Depression Association of America, Association on Larger Education and Disability, Council of Administrators of Particular Education, International OCD Foundation, National Association for Children’s Behavioral Overall health, National Association of Social Workers, National Center for Mastering Disabilities, the Arc of the United States, the Kennedy Forum, the National Education Association, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Bazelon Center for Mental Overall health Law, Trust for America’s Overall health, the American Federation of Teachers, and the University of California Technique.
This month, Senator Markey held a Aid subcommittee hearing convening public overall health leaders on the require to expand access to mental overall health care and substance use disorder care. Earlier in May perhaps, Senator Markey and Representatives Paul Tonko (NY-20) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) reintroduced their Neighborhood Mental Wellness and Resilience Act (CMWRA), legislation to establish a initial-of-its-type $36 million pilot grant plan via the Centers for Illness Handle and Prevention (CDC) to offer funding to neighborhood neighborhood-primarily based mental wellness and resilience applications. In February, Senator Markey and Representative Jamie Raskin (MD-08) sent a letter to Dr. Lawrence A. Tabak, Acting Director of the National Institutes of Overall health (NIH), calling for the swift launch of an in depth research initiative on the influence of technologies and media on young children, teens, and infants, constant with the Youngsters and Media Study Advancement (CAMRA) Act. Final November, Senator Markey sent a letter to the DOE and the DOJ calling for stronger policies associated to involuntary healthcare leaves of absence to assure students with disabilities’ access to larger education is protected.