STAND. COM. REP. NO. 630

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 500

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirty-Second State Legislature

Regular Session of 2023

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committees on Higher Education and Health and Human Services, to which was referred S.B. No. 500 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO MENTAL HEALTH AT THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to appropriate funds for the establishment of three additional permanent full-time equivalent (3.0 FTE) Mental Health Practitioner positions within the University of Hawaii's Counseling and Student Development Center.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the University of Hawaii System, Associated Students of the University of Hawaii, and seven individuals.

 

Your Committees find that college students are facing greater and more complex challenges in their personal and academic lives. During the 2020-2021 school year, more than sixty percent of college students nationwide met the criteria for at least one mental health problem. Despite the prevalence of anxiety, stress, and depression amongst University of Hawaii students remaining on par with that of university students nationwide, the number of professionals available to University of Hawaii students falls well below the nationally recommended ratio of one full-time equivalent (1.0 FTE) mental health professional per one thousand five hundred students. The ratio at the University of Hawaii at Manoa is one mental health professional per 3,815 students, more than double the recommended ratio. To increase access to mental health services, this measure appropriates funds to the University of Hawaii at Manoa to establish three additional full-time equivalent (3.0 FTE) Mental Health Practitioner positions.

 

As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Higher Education and Health and Human Services that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 500 and recommend that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Higher Education and Health and Human Services,

 

________________________________

JOY A. SAN BUENAVENTURA, Chair

 

________________________________

DONNA MERCADO KIM, Chair