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Policy Corner: Higher Education Mental Health Act

ATIXA endorses the Higher Education Mental Health Act, which is set to be introduced by Rep. David Trone (D-MD) in the House of Representatives and Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) in the Senate. This bill was formally introduced as HR 5653/S 3048 last Congress and received bipartisan support. The bill would require the U.S. Department of Education to establish an Advisory Commission on Serving and Supporting Students with Mental Health Disabilities in Institutions of Higher Education.

This Advisory Commission would be required to conduct a study and report on the following:

  • Services available to students with mental health disabilities in college and the effectiveness of such services in supporting these students;
  • The impact of policies and procedures, such as reasonable accommodation and disciplinary policies, that help or hinder the goal of providing equal opportunity to these students;
  • The use of protected health information of these students by colleges;
  • The impact of providing mental health services on a student’s academic performance, well-being, and ability to complete college;
  • Conclusions on the major challenges facing these students; and
  • Recommendations to improve these students’ overall education, retention, and graduation rates.

ATIXA has had several relationship-building meetings with Rep. Trone’s office to familiarize the office with our essential work in higher education and discuss our policy initiatives and priorities. Through these meetings and the strong relationship we have developed with the office, ATIXA was informed of this opportunity to sign on.

Click to read ATIXA’s previous Policy Corner updates.