WASHINGTON – The Senate today unanimously passed John Kennedy’s (R-La.) Improving Mental Health Access for Students Act to improve college students’ access to available mental health resources. The legislation requires higher education institutions to print the contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Crisis Text Line and an on-campus mental health program on the back of student identification cards or provide that information on the school’s website.
“Now, more than at any point in my life, young people need helping hands and listening ears. Mental health resources can be lifesaving, and college students deserve to know what help is available to them when they need it most. I hope the House takes the opportunity to send this bill to the president’s desk so young people who are facing new public health and social challenges know that they’re not alone,” said Kennedy.
In 2017, suicide took the lives of over 47,000 people, making it the tenth leading cause of death overall in the U.S. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students, and 39% of college students report experiencing a significant mental health issue.
Video of the senator’s floor speech about the bill is available here.