New York State bill would add more mental health professionals at SUNY campuses

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ALBANY, N.Y. (via WROC) — Some lawmakers in Albany are looking to add more mental health professionals to New York colleges and universities. They say more are needed to meet the specific needs of unique student populations.

Mental health issues can have dire impact for college student’s academic success, and in more serious cases, can lead to suicide and physical harm linked to depression.

According to a recently introduced bill, college students on SUNY and CUNY campuses currently pay a fee for mental health services, but the reported staffing ratio on some campuses is only one mental health counselor for more than 3,000 students.

This new bill will change that, and will ensure that campuses maintain a ratio of at least one certified mental health professional to every 1,000 students. Additionally, it will prevent this from being funded through new student fees.

According to the legislation low-income students are more likely to suffer from mental health conditions, and CUNY and SUNY campuses have a higher share of low-income students than their national counterparts.

The bill is making its way through the legislature and is currently sitting in the higher education committee to be reviewed. 

If it becomes law, it’ll go into effect July 1.

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