Nearly a year ago, ASUM convened a task force comprised of leaders from across the state of Missouri to explore ways key players can proactively address mental health issues on college campuses. This task force operated separately from our legislative efforts, which were ultimately successful when our mental health bill passed on the final day of session.
Today, we are happy to announce that the task force has concluded its work and has arrived at a set of recommendations that, if implemented, could drastically improve student mental health for tens of thousands of Missouri students. These recommendations are intended to be aspirational yet achievable, and reorient their thinking about mental health issues as integral to student success and retention.
A summary of the task force’s recommendations can be found below.
- Increase monetary investment in college mental health services through reallocation of existing resources, requests for additional state appropriations, and through state and federal grants
- Make a coordinated investment in a telephonic crisis line service providing students with a tailored, around-the-clock hotline for those experiencing a mental health crisis
- Adopt selected practices and policies that make high-demand college counseling positions more attractive to diverse and qualified applicants
- Address mental health issues ‘upstream’ by making appropriate curricular changes at institutions of elementary and secondary education
- Increased coordination between stakeholders
- Conduct research and surveys to identify gaps in the data and to effectively measure progress
In the coming months, ASUM will continue to work with stakeholders to identify opportunities and to encourage action on these recommendations. We greatly appreciate everyone who took the time to assist with and participate on the task force over the course of the last several months. We look forward to continuing to make progress on this important issue.