Higher Education Community Calls on Congress to Support Student Mental Health and Wellbeing

Last week, CGS and a group of nearly 100 organizations sent a letter to Congress urging its support in addressing the mental and behavioral health needs of students in higher education. The letter states, “We have been heartened at the attention and urgency Congress has shown toward addressing significant mental health needs in America, as well as the bipartisan and bicameral interest in tackling this urgent problem. This is a critical opportunity to address the mental health crisis among college students that has been under addressed for too long and has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Better mental health is essential for students to persist in college, graduate, and become healthy and productive leaders and workers in our communities nationwide. To meet this moment, Congress should both invest in existing programs and reexamine ways that key legislation can support the mental health and basic needs of America’s college students.” Specifically, the letter urges Congress to increase the annual appropriation for the Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention Grant, in order to, provide additional mental health care services for postsecondary education students.

CGS also sent a letter to Congress urging them to make the mental health and wellbeing of graduate students and their families a high priority when developing mental health legislation. The letter says, “The nation’s graduate schools serve two important and distinctive roles in the mental health arena. First, graduate schools provide a refuge for graduate students and their families; a place where they can succeed academically and find the necessary resources and support to alleviate undue stress. Second, graduate schools educate and train the mental health professionals needed to provide health care services and support to the people in our communities.” See our latest report on graduate student mental health and well-being here.