Statement on Telemental Health during the Coronavirus Crisis

As President of the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors (AUCCCD), I am writing to you today in light of how the current COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the ability of colleges and universities to serve the mental health needs of college students. In order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, many colleges have moved to distance learning as an avenue for students to continue their academic studies. However, this move means that many college counseling centers will utilize telemental health services in order to provide much needed psychological care to already vulnerable students who are likely experiencing increased anxiety and social isolation. This includes students who live in another state rather than where their college is located. In most states, mental health professionals are prohibited from practicing across state lines.

AUCCCD has been proud to support past and current legislation that has a direct impact on the mental health and well-being of college students such as the Garrett Lee Smith Campus Memorial Act, the Higher Education Act, Mental Health on Campus Improvement Act, Improving Mental Health Access for Students Act, and Threat Assessment, Prevention, and Safety Act.

During this time of crisis, AUCCCD wants state legislators, governors, state licensing boards and federal legislators to support college student mental health in the following ways:

  • Pass emergency legislation that would permit college student mental health and medical professionals involved in student mental health care to practice across state lines for a period of 6 months.
  • Support funding for colleges and universities who do not have access to a HIPAA compliant telehealth platform.
  • Support funding for telemental health training for counseling center staff.

The American College Health Association (ACHA) , the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) , the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), the JED Foundation, the Association for University and College Counseling Center Outreach (AUCCCO) and the Association of Counseling Center Training Agencies (ACCTA) have endorsed this statement.

To advance the mission of higher education, AUCCCD innovates, educates and advocates for collegiate mental health. Please help us fulfill this mission by contacting your state and federal elected officials, and state licensing boards, to support our ability to deliver telemental health services to as many students as possible.

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