The ‘Improving Mental Health Access for Students’ Act

In Brief:

  • According to a study from the Healthy Minds Network for Research on Adolescent and Young Adult Mental Health and the American College Health Association, 60 percent of students they surveyed said the pandemic has made access to mental health care difficult.

  • Quick access to mental health resources is the goal of this act, and with the Campus Key® digital student ID feature all required information would be displayed on the app and can be updated without reissuing.

Blog Post

The ‘Improving Mental Health Access for Students’ Act

In late December 2020, the United States Senate unanimously passed the “Improving Mental Health Access for Students Act.” If signed into law, all higher education institutions in the US will be required to print mental health resource information and hotline phone numbers on all student ID cards they issue. If mandated, it may require reprinting and reissuing of existing ID cards which may come with financial constraints, and in this unprecedented time of the pandemic, institution resources are already stretched. By offering a digital student ID, like Campus Key, the mobile app from Nelnet Campus Commerce, reprinting physical IDs would be unnecessary and students would have instant access to the mental health information they may need.

This act, introduced by Louisiana Senator John Kennedy, is aimed at improving the access college students have to mental health resources. The act would be effective one year from enactment and will likely require all campus ID cards to be reissued to include the numbers for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, crisis text line, and campus mental health center. If institutions do not have ID cards, this information must be displayed on the school’s website. As COVID-19 continues to cause stress and insecurity to students, access to these health resources is of timely importance, and with Campus Key, help is a click away.

Students Struggle with Access to Mental Health Resources

According to a study from the Healthy Minds Network for Research on Adolescent and Young Adult Mental Health and the American College Health Association, 60 percent of students they surveyed said the pandemic has made access to mental health care difficult. Of those who attempted to seek out mental health care during the pandemic, 41 percent said it had been “much more difficult” to access care. (IHE https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/07/13/survey-finds-higher-prevalence-depression-among-students-and-difficulties-accessing)

Quick access to mental health resources is the goal of this act, and with Campus Key’s digital student ID feature all required information would be displayed on the app and can be updated without reissuing. Live links will take the student directly to the resource – no need to dial a number or find a web address. The digital ID is always available for download, allowing students immediate access either on or off campus.

Contactless Solutions for Your Campus

Campus Key is a modular application where resourceful features can be added as needed. Starting with the digital ID is a great first step as it fulfils this likely new federal requirement without the need and cost of reprinting your students’ plastic ID cards. Along with the digital ID, Campus Key offers other contactless solutions, like student messaging and mobile payments. Plus, Campus Key easily integrates with other third-parties and Nelnet solutions.

With students being on and off campus, efficient communication is of utmost importance. The student messaging feature in Campus Key allows direct communication in real time through a built-in system. It sends push notifications and in-app inbox messages directly. Critical school messages and alerts are no longer comingled with personal emails or text messages, ensuring that important notifications are evident.

When it comes to mobile payments, Campus Key offers contactless and secure transactions for students. They can manage their school finances, see a real-time view of their tuition and meal plan balances, check the status of refunds, and order food all in one place. In addition, Campus Key has a full array of options for point of sale and loyalty programs for places like cafeterias or bookstores, both on and off a physical campus.

Meet Your Students Where They Are

Life can be stressful for students, even in the best of times. When it comes to mental wellbeing, the time to act is now and with Campus Key, you can meet your students where they are – on their phones. During times of uncertainty, give your students a contactless and secure way to stay connected and get the help they may need.

Interested in more information about Campus Key? Download our E-Book.

Author: Nelnet Campus Commerce

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