Tackling the Mental Health Crisis on College Campuses

Dear Friend,

When you have a physical health problem, you go to a doctor for treatment. Mental health is no different. Just like physical illness, mental illness can be far reaching and require medication and other medical treatment. 

Young people across the country are experiencing a mental health crisis, with reports of up to 44% of college students suffering from depression and 37% from anxiety in 2021-22. And in California, 18-24 year olds are more likely to experience anxiety compared to national averages. 

Many factors can contribute to mental health problems, including the stressors of pursuing a higher education. While going to college can be stressful, it shouldn’t harm someone’s mental or physical well-being. Too many students across the country who face mental health challenges find themselves dealing with a lack of resources, inadequate support, and harmful campus policies. In Congress, I’m working hard to address these shortcomings.

Last month, I partnered with Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) to reintroduce the Student Mental Health Rights Act. This bill directs the Department of Education to establish guidance and determine campus compliance with federal laws that protect students with mental illnesses. My Student Mental Health Rights Act would connect students with the health care and support they need. This bill also redoubles efforts to get schools to comply with mental health safeguards and make campuses safer for students in crisis.

I believe that no one—especially young people—should experience mental illness alone. We just wrapped up Mental Health Awareness Month, but it’s clear mental illness doesn’t just strike in May. As a mom and advocate for improving mental health care, I’m committed to continuing the fight to help youth and adults every day of the year.  I’ll keep working together, with you and my colleagues in Congress, to improve mental health care. 


Representative Katie Porter