AP NEWS

New task force to recommend college mental health policies

January 5, 2020 GMT

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut task force has been charged with recommending a statewide policy for mental health services offered for college students across the state.

The group was created by the General Assembly during the 2019 legislative session. Task force members, who include mental health experts, college mental health counselors and others, are expected to issue a report before the legislature convenes in February.

Courtney Cullinan, deputy chief of staff and director of policy for the Connecticut Senate Democrats, said lawmakers have concerns about the availability of counselors on college campuses and whether mental health services are being utilized. At a recent meeting, she said it made sense to bring together a panel of experts to help tackle the issue.

“We have these questions. We weren’t able to solve them,” she said in November. “We thought we could do that together as a group.”

The task force will meet Tuesday to hear from Janet Dee Spoltore, director of Student Counseling and Health Services at Connecticut College. The New London school, since 2014, has been working with the Jed Foundation on a program to prevent suicide and fatal accidents, including those caused by prescription drug overdoses and alcohol poisoning.