Bill would help provide mental health services at college campuses

A bill heard in the Higher Education Committee this week would provide funding for MinnState officials to contract with independent mental health organizations for providing mental health services on up to five state college campuses. The bill also requires the mental health providers to give information and guidance to students seeking health insurance.

The statistics indicate some of the needs in Minnesota: 75% of mental illnesses are onset by age 24, right as young people face some of their most stressful and challenging times; one in five adults, about 43.8 million, experienced a mental illness in 2012, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death among Minnesota teens. Both nationally and in Minnesota, suicide has increased across all age groups over the past 20 years.

The bill would provide $250,000 to support the five programs. It was laid over for possible inclusion in the omnibus higher education budget bill. (SF 1017