California Assembly Passes Measure to Increase Access to Mental Health Services at College Campuses

Friday, June 3, 2016

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – The Assembly passed AB 2017 by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) today on a bi-partisan vote of 62-0. The bill would create a competitive grant program for college campuses, with a match from the state, to increase mental health access for students at public post-secondary institutions.  An appropriation of $40 million (Prop 63) would fund the program. 

“We know that late adolescence has unique challenges that often lead to high levels of stress and anxiety, which can impact a young person’s mental health. Additionally, college creates a life changing experience that can exacerbate this stress,” said Assemblymember McCarty.  “As a society we have often neglected the most obvious place for student to turn – their existing health facilities on campus.  This bill will go a long way to address this gap.”

"The Steinberg Institute has met with college students, faculty, and administrators from across California's public college systems and the message is clear, students desperately need access to mental health services" said Anna Hasselblad, Public Policy Director of the Steinberg Institute. "AB 2017 responds directly to this need by investing in what we know works for students and colleges, and what we know saves the state money."

With 113 CCC, 23 CSU, and 10 UC campuses, totaling nearly 2.8 million students, student groups and associations across California are calling for increased access to appropriate mental health services.  AB 2017 will create the College Mental Health Services Trust to fund competitive grants for mental health services for undergraduate and graduate students in the California Community College (CCC), California State University (CSU), and University of California (UC) systems. 

AB 2017 moves to the State Senate for consideration.