NIU Shootings Prompt Mental Health Bill - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

NIU Shootings Prompt Mental Health Bill

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DEKALB, Ill. (AP) - Senator Dick Durbin says the Valentine's Day shootings at Northern Illinois University show the need for improved mental health services on college campuses.

Durbin on Wednesday introduced The Mental Health on Campus Improvement Act.

He says it would create a grant program so colleges can identify students with mental health needs and also treat students who ask for help.

Durbin says experts recommend counselor-to-student ratios of 1 to 1,000 or 1,500. But he says the average ratio on U.S. campuses is one counselor for every 2,000 students.

Steven Kazmierczak (kaz-MUR'-chek) opened fire in a Cole Hall classroom, killing five students before committing suicide. Officials and friends have said he struggled to cope with mental health problems.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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