Representative Emerson is advocating for a more holistic approach to addressing the mental health crisis on UW campuses. While he acknowledges the recent legislative efforts, he believes that more action is necessary to make a significant impact on students’ lives. He criticizes the passing of unfunded mandates and emphasizes the importance of providing immediate relief and fostering an environment that prioritizes mental health.
Emerson co-authored AB 588 earlier this year, a bill that would provide funding for student mental health services at Universities of Wisconsin. He believes that passing this bill would enable UW campuses to hire more counselors and increase programming to help students in crisis and prevent others from reaching a crisis situation.
The representative has seen firsthand the mobilization of campuses around students in need and hopes that the legislature will similarly rally around UW campuses to provide the critical funding needed during this time. He underscores that this is a shared responsibility that transcends politics and calls for urgent action to create a safer, more supportive environment on Wisconsin campuses.
Furthermore, he provides resources for those experiencing a mental health crisis, encouraging them to reach out to the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by calling 988.