Mental Health on Campus Improvement Act of 2009
Senate Bill No: S. 682
House Bill No: H.R. 1704
The purpose of the Mental Health on Campus Improvement Act of 2009 (MHCIA) is to improve the mental and behavioral health on college campuses across the country. The MHCIA seeks to achieve this by providing college campuses the means to:
- Increase access to mental and behavioral health services on campuses;
- Prevention of mental and behavioral health disorders and promoting mental health and well-being;
- Better identification and treatment of at-risk students;
- Improve the collaboration and development of mental and behavioral health care and
- Increase the efficacy of outreach efforts.
According to the 2007 National Survey of Counseling Center Directors, the ratio of counselors to students was nearly 1:2000, dwarfing the International Association of Counseling Services' recommendation of a ratio of 1:1000. Furthermore, since 1989, students seen for anxiety has doubled while those seen for depression or suicide has tripled; however, funding and development of these services have been stagnant. With the direction and funding of the Secretary of Education through the MHCIA, campuses will be able to better address the growing need for mental and behavioral services.
If enacted, MHCIA could do much to help college campuses address the mental and behavioral health needs of its students, as well as increasing their academic performance and general well-being.
Impact on Higher Education
1.6 million college students across the nation sought counseling services in the past year. Since 1989, the number of students seen for anxiety disorders has doubled while the number of students seen for depression and suicide has tripled.
Despite this growing need, statistics show campuses have an inadequate number of counselors to address it. With its proposed federal funding, the MHCIA could be instrumental, to ensure mental health needs well-being of all students, faculty and staff on campus are met.
Ensure that college students have the support necessary to successfully complete their education.