• Wed. Jun 7th, 2023

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


May 25, 2023

Throughout Mental Wellness Awareness Month, legislators introduce Student Mental Wellness Rights Act, legislation requiring the Division of Education to situation guidance to colleges, universities on upholding civil rights

Bill Text (PDF)

Washington (Might 25, 2023) – Throughout Mental Wellness Awareness Month, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chair of the Senate Wellness, Education, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee on Main Wellness and Retirement Safety, and Representative Katie Porter (CA-47) these days announced the introduction of Student Mental Wellness 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 assistance students with mental wellness 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 wellness disabilities and substance use issues at colleges and universities, overview greatest practices for supporting students, and assess existing policies at academic institutions concerning leaves of absence.

Healthier Minds Network (HMN) reported that from 2021 to 2022, 44 % of college student suffered from depression and 37 % suffered from anxiousness. On the other hand, students reported barriers to accessing care for these and other mental wellness disabilities, such as economic expense, lack of accessible appointments and confusion on exactly where to seek enable. 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. 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 wellness crisis, but for as well extended, we have left students and their schools with out a roadmap for navigating it,” mentioned Senator Markey. “Failing to give students and institutions of greater education the sources they need to have to assistance students experiencing a mental wellness crisis or substance use disorder indicates failing to give all students the chance for complete and equal access to an education. This legislation will assistance students who have faced discrimination though giving clarity to academic institutions about their responsibilities to shield students’ civil rights.”

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

A copy of the Student Mental Wellness Rights Act can be identified Right here.

Cosponsors of the legislation incorporate Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Joe Courtney (CT-02), and Darren Soto (FL-09).

The Student Mental Wellness 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 Unique Education, International OCD Foundation, National Association for Children’s Behavioral Wellness, National Association of Social Workers, National Center for Understanding Disabilities, the Arc of the United States, the Kennedy Forum, the National Education Association, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Bazelon Center for Mental Wellness Law, Trust for America’s Wellness, the American Federation of Teachers, and the University of California Program.

This month, Senator Markey held a Support subcommittee hearing convening public wellness leaders on the need to have to expand access to mental wellness care and substance use disorder care. Earlier in Might, 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 initially-of-its-type $36 million pilot grant plan by way of the Centers for Illness Handle 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 Wellness (NIH), calling for the swift launch of an substantial research initiative on the effect of technologies and media on kids, teens, and infants, constant with the Young children and Media Analysis 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 greater education is protected.  


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