Bipartisan Team of Senators Raises Concerns About Student Mental Health
On Wednesday, Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) penned a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to highlight the negative impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on student mental health.
The letter describes a perfect storm of conditions contributing to the current student mental health crisis, including pre-existing mental health needs, the loss of in-person mental health services provided in schools, trauma related to the pandemic, increased abuse and neglect cases, and more.
The Senators urge DeVos and Azar to work together to issue guidance to K-12 schools and institutions of higher education that details how to provide supports, services, and accommodations to address the increased needs of students facing new or ongoing mental health challenges related to or heightened by the pandemic. The letter requests that the guidance include strategies to address the unique needs of student of color, students with disabilities, students experiencing homelessness, and native students, noting the disproportionate impact these communities have endured.