Sen. Markey, Rep. Porter Announce Legislation to Help Students with Mental Overall health Disabilities, Substance Use Disorder

Through 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 (Could 25, 2023) – Through Mental Overall health Awareness Month, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chair of the Senate Overall health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee on Major 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 improved assistance students with mental wellness disabilities and substance use disorder and to make certain 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 wellness disabilities and substance use issues at colleges and universities, evaluation very best practices for supporting students, and assess present policies at academic institutions concerning leaves of absence.

Healthful Minds Network (HMN) reported that from 2021 to 2022, 44 % of college student suffered from depression and 37 % suffered from anxiousness. Nonetheless, students reported barriers to accessing care for these and other mental wellness disabilities, such as monetary expense, lack of out there appointments and confusion on exactly where to seek assistance. Students with disabilities are protected by civil rights laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act, and the Fair Housing Act. However, disabled students continue to report discrimination, monetary 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 tricky to access or return from.

“We are in the midst of a mental wellness crisis, but for as well lengthy, we have left students and their schools with out a roadmap for navigating it,” stated Senator Markey. “Failing to give students and institutions of larger education the sources they have to have to assistance students experiencing a mental wellness crisis or substance use disorder suggests failing to give all students the chance for complete and equal access to an education. This legislation will assistance students who have faced discrimination even though offering clarity to academic institutions about their responsibilities to shield students’ civil rights.”

“Our young persons can’t thrive and succeed if we do not seriously address our nation’s mental wellness crisis,” stated Representative Porter. “The laws we have on the books are not translating into protections for students, which is a sign we ought to redouble our efforts to get schools to comply with mental wellness safeguards. My Student Mental Overall health Rights Act with Senator Markey will assistance make campuses safer for students in crisis.”

A copy of the Student Mental Overall health Rights Act can be discovered Right here.

Cosponsors of the legislation consist of 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 Greater Education and Disability, Council of Administrators of Specific Education, International OCD Foundation, National Association for Children’s Behavioral Overall health, National Association of Social Workers, National Center for Studying 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 Method.

This month, Senator Markey held a Aid subcommittee hearing convening public wellness leaders on the have to have to expand access to mental wellness care and substance use disorder care. Earlier in Could, 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 1st-of-its-type $36 million pilot grant plan via the Centers for Illness Manage and Prevention (CDC) to offer funding to regional 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 comprehensive research initiative on the effect of technologies and media on youngsters, teens, and infants, constant with the Kids and Media Study Advancement (CAMRA) Act. Final November, Senator Markey sent a letter to the DOE and the DOJ calling for stronger policies connected to involuntary healthcare leaves of absence to make certain students with disabilities’ access to larger education is protected.  


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