Letter to the editor: Support to establish a mental health training clinic at MSU

To those who attend Minnesota State University, Mankato I highly urge you to support  Minnesota H.F. 586.

I am writing this letter on behalf of the 15,000 Minnesota State University, Mankato students to support Minnesota H.F. 586, which would appropriate funding to the Center for Rural Behavioral Health at Minnesota State University, Mankato to establish a mental health training clinic.

By every statistical measure, the mental wellbeing of Minnesota’s college students has never been worse. This is coming at a time in which access to behavioral health services on our campuses has never been more difficult. This gap between students who need care, and the trained providers of that care, continues to grow with each passing semester. When students are not able to attend to their mental health, it impacts their ability to focus on their coursework which often leads them to do poorly and in far too many instances, not complete their college education.

The Center for Rural Behavioral Health training clinic would provide an incredible educational and professional opportunity for students studying mental health, while growing the number of behavioral health professionals who will serve the current, and next generation of Minnesotans. At the same time, this training clinic would add an incredible asset to provide mental healthcare for the 15,000 students who are enrolled at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

While H.F. 586 won’t solve all the mental health challenges facing college students and the southern Minnesota community, but it will go a long way to ensure that those who call the second largest university in the state home, will have access to mental healthcare when they need it.

Emma Zellmer

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