Representative Emerson has been advocating for a more comprehensive approach to addressing the mental health crisis on UW campuses. While he acknowledges the recent legislative efforts, he believes that more needs to be done to make a substantial difference in the lives of students. In particular, he criticizes the passing of unfunded mandates that do not provide immediate relief and fail to foster an environment that prioritizes mental health.
To address these concerns, Emerson co-authored AB 588 earlier this year, a bill that would provide funding to student mental health services at Universities of Wisconsin. He believes that this bill will allow 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 witnessed the rallying of campuses around students in need and hopes that the legislature will similarly rally around the campuses to provide the critical funding needed during this time. He emphasizes that this is a shared responsibility that transcends politics and calls for decisive action to create a safer, more supportive environment on Wisconsin campuses.
In addition, Emerson provides resources for those experiencing a mental health crisis, encouraging them to reach out to the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by calling 988.