Whereas, Many students will experience a mental health condition at some point in their educational careers, as research indicates the following:
- 1 in 4 students have a diagnosable mental illness;
- 40% of students do not seek help when they need it;
- 8 out of 10 people who experience psychosis have their first episode between the ages of 15 and 30;
- Depression is the number one reason students drop out of school and can lead to problems such as suicide and homelessness;
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students, claiming more than 1,100 lives every year; and
- Mental health challenges may affect students’ academic performance as well as their ability to fully participate in and complete their education;
Whereas, Educators have a duty to ensure a productive and safe educational environment for students so that the students may learn and thrive, and improvements in a college’s mental health services such as campus-wide awareness and prevention efforts, stigma reduction, early recognition, personnel and peer training, mental health screening, improved partnerships with and access to community resources, integrated care, and consistent funding are all necessary for addressing the needs of students;
Whereas, Assembly Bill 2017 (McCarty, April 11, 2016) Mental Health Services attempts to address the lack of mental health services for students in public higher education institutions by providing funding to improve and expand mental health services to all students in California public higher education.
Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges support the intent of AB 2017 (McCarty, April 11, 2016) to improve access to mental health resources and services for college students and to ensure that noncredit students and their institutions can access these funds;
Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges urge local senates to advocate for the improvement of and access to mental health services at their local campuses; and
Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges support consistent resourcing and funding to enable the expansion of and improve access to mental health services for community college students.
Letters of support provided to the legislature.