CFA-sponsored bill would mandate proper staffing for campus mental health counseling

New Senate Bill 968, introduced by state Senator Dr. Richard Pan and sponsored by CFA and SEIU, will require CSU management to ensure there is at least one full-time-equivalent mental health counselor for every 1,000 students on a CSU campus.

CFA’s Counselor’s Committee has been pressing hard for better staffing of campus mental health centers, responding to a big increase in the student body without administrators staffing up the centers, and in some cases, making decisions to staff mental health entirely with part-time and temporary counselors.

CSU Stanislaus counselor Martha Cuan told the CSU Trustees last November, “This is a very serious problem on all CSU campuses. Therefore, it’s surreal in this high demand for services and the increase in severity of student mental health issues that the CSU doesn’t want to hire and retain experienced permanent mental health counselors.”

Cuan said, “A recent analysis shows that permanent counseling positions have been reduced by 50% in the last 10 years. As of today, there are seven campuses with no permanent experienced mental health providers.”

SB 968 will require the CSU to report to the legislature by 2020 on its progress implementing the staffing. It calls for an update from the CSU every three years, and urges the UC administration to adopt the same policies.

Learn more about the growing crisis facing the CSU’s mental health Counselors.