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A student-created bill is introduced that hopes to help an ongoing mental health crisis

Graphic Art: girl comforts her sad friend over the phone, holds an umbrella over her friend's head.
@Ponomariova_Maria for Getty Images/iStockphoto
Support for mental health

UC Berkeley student Kimberley Woo described how not only did mental health severely affect her freshman year, but how she was unable to receive help from her school’s mental health services. This story is not unique, as mental health has been declining among California students even before the pandemic.

A recent survey by the Federal Disease Control and Prevention showed that in high school students more than 40 percent admitted to severe feelings of anxiety and depression while nine percent attempted suicide. In college students, the stats are higher with more than 60 percent of students feeling severe anxiety or depression. This encouraged Kimberley Woo to help write Assembly bill 2122.

Tomorrow, the Assembly Committee on Higher Education will hear and vote on this new bill. Assembly Bill 2122 follows two previous bills which were passed. These bills require suicide prevention and domestic abuse hotlines to be put on student identification cards. This is all optional for University of California schools.

California State University has greatly expanded its mental health services since the beginning of the pandemic. Each of its 23 campuses offers remote and in-person counseling services.