'Bill would help access services'

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The "H.R.4374 - Mental Health on Campus Improvement Act" takes action on mental and behavioral health services on college and university campuses.

Suicide is currently the second-highest leading cause of death in college students following accidental injuries. About 1,100 students die a year by suicide and 67% of students tell their friends they are feeling suicidal before telling someone else (Active Minds, 2019). Suicide is theoretically 100% preventable which stems from the idea that there are resources available.

However, as important as it is for those struggling to reach out, it is important for those who are able to help to reach in. An article by Kearns et. al dive into the topic of mental health and different things that affect one's mental health such as, stigma and exposure. From their research, they found that "students who identify more strongly with their university demonstrated higher stigma in seeking help from university mental health services" which wasn't something they initially were predicting (Kearns et. al, 2015, p.5).

Mental health does not discriminate against religion, race, and so on. As an adoptee as well as a college student, I have struggled with my mental health quite a bit. I am thankful I was able to get linked to the proper help in school and am thankfully able to walk around helping others. Recently I was able to help out with an exhibit on our campus called Send Silence Packing. 1100 backpacks were displayed on the campus which represented how many students die a year by suicide.

On most college campuses, students are only allowed a certain amount of visits to the counselors in the health centers. For instance, on the UWW campus, students are allowed 14 visits a semester. That is just not enough for one semester.

Emily Green

Beloit

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