Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of Public Act 101-0251
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Public Act 101-0251


Public Act 0251 101ST GENERAL ASSEMBLY



Public Act 101-0251
HB2152 EnrolledLRB101 08528 AXK 53606 b

    AN ACT concerning education.
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
Mental Health Early Action on Campus Act.
    Section 5. Intent. This Act is intended to address gaps in
mental health services on college campuses across Illinois,
including both 2-year and 4-year institutions, through
training, peer support, and community-campus partnerships.
    Section 10. Findings. The General Assembly finds all of the
        (1) Mental health is a pressing and growing issue on
    college campuses across this State and the country. A
    recent national survey found that one in 4 college students
    are treated for or diagnosed with a mental health condition
    and one in 5 has considered suicide.
        (2) About 75% of all mental health conditions start by
    age 24, with higher rates of diagnosed disorders in
    college-aged students. College counseling center directors
    believe mental health conditions among students on their
    campuses are increasing, signaling a growing issue that
    must be addressed.
        (3) Students who come from low-income households are
    more likely to have a mental health condition.
        (4) Between 2007 and 2017, the diagnosis rate of
    college students increased from 22% to 36%, indicating a
    higher need for services. Treatment rates over the same
    period increased by 15%.
        (5) Young adults are less likely to receive mental
    health support than any other age group. College campuses
    can play a big role in addressing this challenge. Over 70%
    of Illinois high school graduates enroll in a postsecondary
    program shortly after graduation.
        (6) College-aged students are more accepting of mental
    health services than the general population, but most
    struggle accessing them. An overwhelming 96% of college
    students reported they would provide support to peers whom
    they knew were thinking about suicide.
        (7) Many students lack knowledge of mental health signs
    and symptoms and do not know how to help or where to refer
    their friends for services.
        (8) Services offered by most college campuses are
    limited in scope and capacity, with 67% of campus
    counseling center directors saying that their campus
    psychiatric service capacity is inadequate or does not meet
    student demand.
        (9) Combined with a dearth of available services, the
    vast majority of students do not seek out services, and
    many students who complete a suicide never received
    on-campus services. Paying for community-based services is
    an issue for about half of students. Combining insufficient
    on-campus services with unaffordable community resources
    leaves students on their own.
    Section 15. Purpose. The purpose of this Act is to
accomplish all of the following:
        (1) Further identify students with mental health needs
    and connect them to services.
        (2) Increase access to support services on college
        (3) Increase access to clinical mental health services
    on college campuses and in the surrounding communities for
    college students.
        (4) Empower students through peer-to-peer support and
    training on identifying mental health needs and resources.
        (5) Reduce administrative policies that put an undue
    burden on students seeking leave for their mental health
    conditions through technical assistance and training.
    Section 20. Definitions. As used in this Act:
    "Advisor" means a staff member who provides academic,
professional, and personal support to students.
    "Campus security" means a law enforcement officer who has
completed his or her probationary period and is employed as a
security officer or campus police officer by a public college
or university.
    "Linkage agreement" means a formal agreement between a
public college or university and an off-campus mental health
provider or agency.
    "Mental health condition" means a symptom consistent with a
mental illness, as defined under Section 1-129 of the Mental
Health and Developmental Disabilities Code, or a diagnosed
mental illness.
    "Public college or university" means any public community
college subject to the Public Community College Act, the
University of Illinois, Southern Illinois University, Chicago
State University, Eastern Illinois University, Governors State
University, Illinois State University, Northeastern Illinois
University, Northern Illinois University, Western Illinois
University, and any other public university, college, or
community college now or hereafter established or authorized by
the General Assembly.
    "Recovery model" means the model developed by the federal
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration that
defines the process of recovery and includes the 4 major
dimensions that support a life in recovery, which are health,
home, purpose, and community.
    "Resident assistant" means a student who is responsible for
supervising and assisting other, typically younger, students
who live in the same student housing facility.
    "Telehealth" means the evaluation, diagnosis, or
interpretation of electronically transmitted patient-specific
data between a remote location and a licensed health care
professional that generates interaction or treatment
recommendations. "Telehealth" includes telemedicine and the
delivery of health care services provided by an interactive
telecommunications system, as defined in subsection (a) of
Section 356z.22 of the Illinois Insurance Code.
    Section 25. Awareness. To raise mental health awareness on
college campuses, each public college or university must do all
of the following:
        (1) Develop and implement an annual student
    orientation session aimed at raising awareness about
    mental health conditions.
        (2) Assess courses and seminars available to students
    through their regular academic experiences and implement
    mental health awareness curricula if opportunities for
    integration exist.
        (3) Create and feature a page on its website or mobile
    application with information dedicated solely to the
    mental health resources available to students at the public
    college or university and in the surrounding community.
        (4) Distribute messages related to mental health
    resources that encourage help-seeking behavior through the
    online learning platform of the public college or
    university during high stress periods of the academic year,
    including, but not limited to, midterm or final
    examinations. These stigma-reducing strategies must be
    based on documented best practices.
        (5) Three years after the effective date of this Act,
    implement an online screening tool to raise awareness and
    establish a mechanism to link or refer students of the
    public college or university to services. Screenings and
    resources must be available year round for students and, at
    a minimum, must (i) include validated screening tools for
    depression, an anxiety disorder, an eating disorder,
    substance use, alcohol-use disorder, post-traumatic stress
    disorder, and bipolar disorder, (ii) provide resources for
    immediate connection to services, if indicated, including
    emergency resources, (iii) provide general information
    about all mental health-related resources available to
    students of the public college or university, and (iv)
    function anonymously.
        (6) At least once per term and at times of high
    academic stress, including midterm or final examinations,
    provide students information regarding online screenings
    and resources.
    Section 30. Training.
    (a) The board of trustees of each public college or
university must designate an expert panel to develop and
implement policies and procedures that (i) advise students,
faculty, and staff on the proper procedures for identifying and
addressing the needs of students exhibiting symptoms of mental
health conditions, (ii) promote understanding of the rules of
Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the
federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 to increase
knowledge and understanding of student protections under the
law, and (iii) provide training if appropriate.
    (b) The Technical Assistance Center under Section 45 shall
set initial standards for policies and procedures referenced in
subsection (a) to ensure statewide consistency.
    (c) All resident assistants in a student housing facility,
advisors, and campus security of a public college or university
must participate in a national Mental Health First Aid training
course or a similar program prior to the commencement of their
duties. Training must include the policies and procedures
developed by the public college or university referenced under
subsection (a).
    Section 35. Peer support.
    (a) Because peer support programs may be beneficial in
improving the emotional well-being of the student population,
each public college or university must develop and implement a
peer support program utilizing student peers to support
individuals living with mental health conditions on campus.
Peer support programs may be housed within resident assistant
programs, counseling centers, or wellness centers on campus.
    (b) Peer support programs must utilize best practices for
peer support, including, but not limited to: (i) utilizing the
tenets of the recovery model for mental health, (ii) adequate
planning and preparation, including standardizing guidance and
practices, identifying needs of the target population, and
aligning program goals to meet those needs, (iii) clearly
articulating policies, especially around role boundaries and
confidentiality, (iv) systematic screening with defined
selection criteria for peer supporters, such as communication
skills, leadership ability, character, previous experience or
training, and ability to serve as a positive role model, (v)
identifying benefits from peer status, such as experiential
learning, social support, leadership, and improved
self-confidence, (vi) continuing education for peer supporters
to support each other and improve peer support skills, and
(vii) flexibility in availability by offering services through
drop-in immediate support and the ability to book appointments.
    Section 40. Local partnerships.
    (a) Each public college or university must form strategic
partnerships with local mental health service providers to
improve overall campus mental wellness and augment on-campus
capacity. The strategic partnerships must include linkage
agreements with off-campus mental health service providers
that establish a foundation for referrals for students when
needs cannot be met on campus due to capacity or preference of
the student. The strategic partnerships must also include (i)
avenues for on-campus and off-campus mental health service
providers to increase visibility to students via marketing and
outreach, (ii) opportunities to engage the student body through
student outreach initiatives like mindfulness workshops or
campus-wide wellness fairs, and (iii) opportunities to support
awareness and training requirements under this Act.
    (b) Through a combination of on-campus capacity,
off-campus linkage agreements with mental health service
providers, and contracted telehealth therapy services, each
public college or university shall attempt to meet a benchmark
ratio of one clinical, non-student staff member to 1,250
students. If linkage agreements are used, the agreements must
include the capacity of students providers are expected to
serve within the agency. Two years after the effective date of
this Act, and once every 5 years thereafter, the Technical
Assistance Center developed under Section 45 must propose to
the General Assembly an updated ratio based on actual ratios in
this State and any new information related to appropriate
benchmarks for clinician-to-student ratios. The updated
benchmark must represent a ratio of no less than one clinical,
non-student staff member to 1,250 students.
    (c) Each public college or university must work with local
resources, such as on-campus mental health counseling centers
or wellness centers, local mental health service providers, or
non-providers, such as affiliates of the National Alliance on
Mental Illness, and any other resources to meet the awareness
and training requirements under Sections 25 and 30 of this Act.
    Section 45. Technical Assistance Center. The Board of
Higher Education must develop a Technical Assistance Center
that is responsible for all of the following:
        (1) Developing standardized policies for medical leave
    related to mental health conditions for students of a
    public college or university, which may be adopted by the
    public college or university.
        (2) Providing tailored support to public colleges or
    universities in reviewing policies related to students
    living with mental health conditions and their academic
        (3) Establishing initial standards for policies and
    procedures under subsection (a) of Section 30.
        (4) Disseminating best practices around peer support
    programs, including widely accepted selection criteria for
    individuals serving in a peer support role.
        (5) Developing statewide standards and best practices
    for partnerships between local mental health agencies and
    college campuses across this State.
        (6) Collecting, analyzing, and disseminating data
    related to mental health needs and academic engagement
    across this State.
        (7) Housing data collected by each public college or
    university related to Section 50 and analyzing and
    disseminating best practices to each public college or
    university and the public based on that data.
        (8) Monitoring and evaluating linkage agreements under
    Section 40 to ensure capacity is met by each public college
    or university.
        (9) Facilitating a learning community across all
    public colleges or universities to support capacity
    building and learning across those institutions.
    Section 50. Evaluation. Each public college or university
must evaluate the following programs under this Act in the
following manner:
        (1) Awareness and training programs under Sections 25
    and 30 must be monitored for effectiveness and quality by
    the public college or university. Monitoring measures
    shall include, but are not limited to: (i) increased
    understanding of mental health conditions, (ii) reduced
    stigma toward mental health conditions, (iii) increased
    understanding of mental health resources available to
    students, (iv) increased understanding of resources for
    mental health emergencies available to students, and (v)
    viewing each mental health resource website or mobile
    application of the public college or university.
        (2) Peer support programs under Section 35 must be
    monitored for effectiveness and quality by the public
    college or university. Monitoring measures shall include,
    but are not limited to: (i) improved symptomatology, (ii)
    if needed, connection to additional services, (iii)
    student satisfaction, (iv) wait time for drop-in
    appointments, (v) wait time for scheduled appointments,
    and (vi) satisfaction with the training curriculum for peer
        (3) Local partnership programs under Section 40 must be
    monitored for effectiveness and quality by the public
    college or university. Monitoring measures shall include,
    but are not limited to: (i) wait time for drop-in
    appointments for on-campus or off-campus telehealth
    therapy providers, (ii) wait time for scheduled
    appointments for on-campus or off-campus telehealth
    therapy providers, (iii) the ratio of clinical,
    non-student staff to student population and the number of
    linkage agreements and contracts in place based on student
    population, (iv) student satisfaction with on-campus or
    off-campus telehealth therapy providers, (v) range of
    treatment models offered to students, (vi) average length
    of stay in treatment, (vii) number and range of student
    outreach initiatives, such as telehealth mindfulness
    workshops or campus-wide wellness fairs, and (viii) number
    of students being served annually.
    Section 55. Funding. This Act is subject to appropriation.
The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability,
in conjunction with the Illinois Community College Board and
the Board of Higher Education, must make recommendations to the
General Assembly on the amounts necessary to implement this
Act. The initial recommendation must be provided by the
Commission no later than December 31, 2019. Any appropriation
provided in advance of this initial recommendation may be used
for planning purposes. No Section of this Act may be funded by
student fees created on or after July 1, 2020. Public colleges
or universities may seek federal funding or private grants, if
available, to support the provisions of this Act.
    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect July 1,
2020, except that Section 55 and this Section take effect upon
becoming law.

Effective Date: 8/9/2019