Schlossberg: Mental health bill moving to full House

HARRISBURG, Sept. 24 – State Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, announced legislation he authored (H.B. 1822) today was amended and moved out of the House Education Committee.

According to Schlossberg, the bill would support suicide prevention and mental health services at institutions of higher education in Pennsylvania.

“The transition to any stage of life to college is a complex time,” Schlossberg said. “Students benefit when the college or university they attend can offer services and support to help. Mental health treatment and a supportive community can make or break student achievement and help address problems before a student is found contemplating suicide.”

The bill, which originally would have required institutions of higher education to establish such plans, was amended by the committee to establish a certification process and standards for those schools which elect to become a Certified Suicide Prevention Institution of Higher Education. Through the Pennsylvania Department of Education, institutions would be recognized for their commitment to providing students with information and services to meet their mental health needs and to assist in the event a student experiences a mental health crisis. Schlossberg said the changes to his bill come after consultation with colleges and universities who offered their input on the legislation he originally introduced in September 2017.

“My own experiences with depression and anxiety first came to light when I was in college,” Schlossberg said. “What helped me, as it helped many other students, was mental health counseling and knowing which services and support was available. Colleges and universities which are able to demonstrate their commitment to supporting their students in this fashion deserve to be recognized for doing so.”

Schlossberg’s legislation now goes to the full House for a vote.