by: Katie Lannan,
BOSTON (SHNS) – An organization representing Boston-area undergraduates is marking #MentalIllnessAwareness week by asking top lawmakers to pass a bill creating a commission on #suicideprevention and #mentalhealthcrisis management, but to first make sure that panel would take #college #students’ needs into account.
The Boston Intercollegiate Government, a coalition of undergraduate #student governments, testified at a July hearing in support of Rep. Lenny Mirra’s bill (H 2120) to establish the commission, and asked legislators to make sure #college #students are represented on the commission and that the panel addresses that population’s #mentalhealth needs.
The bill remains before the #MentalHealth, Substance Use and Recovery Committee. BIG’s chairman, Dennis Wieboldt III of Boston College, and assistant director of governmental affairs, Zachary Greenwald of Northeastern University, wrote to House Speaker Ronald Mariano and Senate President Karen Spilka on Thursday, reiterating the group’s call to pass an amended version of the bill.
Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.
Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.
Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space. #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle
“Massachusetts has a very large population of college-aged #students. This population, however, has particular #mentalhealthcare needs, especially in light of #COVID-19,” their letter said. “Once amended, this legislation will help to ensure that this population is not overlooked by the Commonwealth.”
In its July testimony, BIG cited a summer 2020 #CentersforDiseaseControlandPrevention report on #mentalhealth, substance use and suicidal ideation during the #COVID-19 #pandemic, which found that 25.5 percent of respondents aged 18 to 24 “reported having seriously considered #suicide in the 30 days before completing the survey.”