New state law requires incoming students to watch suicide prevention video
Starting this summer, all incoming and transfer students will be required to watch a new video about mental health resources and suicide prevention during orientation because of a newly implemented state law.
Senate Bill 1624, which went into effect June 18 last year, requires incoming college students to be informed about mental health and suicide prevention. The video was released April 21 by a task force managed by UT and comprised of public and private higher education institutions from across the state. Mark and Kathleen Walker proposed the bill after their son Lee, a UT student, died by suicide in May 2014.
After the University shows the video at orientation, students will also receive a link to it by email. Current incoming students must complete online alcohol awareness modules and view videos about campus resources and safety, but there is no specific required video about mental health.
Chris Brownson, director of the University’s Counseling and Mental Health Center, who led the task force along with the Texas University Counseling Center Director’s Association, said the video is essential because students should have some basic knowledge on the early signs of mental health issues or suicidal thoughts.