NAICU Washington Update

Congress Continues Focus on Student Mental Health

December 02, 2022

In the latest sign of interest in the student mental health crisis, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) held a hearing earlier this week that focused on how to support students as they transition from high school to college.

Among the issues examined by the committee were ways to improve resources available to both high school and college students, barriers that prevent access to care as students move from high school to college, educational impacts, and possible legislative solutions. 

At the hearing, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), chair of the committee, noted that the social isolation of the pandemic left many students unprepared for the transition to college. “There is an urgency here,” stated Senator Casey, when discussing the need for Congress to address the issue. 

Meanwhile, witness Curtis Wright, Vice President of Student Affairs at Xavier University of Louisiana, testified regarding the university’s efforts to address student mental health, which have included increasing the number of counselors on campus, additional training, partnering with high schools and parents, and cultivating more connections across the campus community.  He concluded his testimony by saying, “We must address the mental health concerns of our youth as the stakes have never been higher and our collective work should be a priority of every American.”

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