Carolyn Jones at EdSource:

Three years after California required colleges to put suicide prevention phone numbers on all student ID cards, a group of students wants to take the push for student wellness a step further: By adding a 24-hour mental health hotline. Assembly Bill 2122, introduced last month, would require all community colleges and California State University campuses to print a phone number on student identification cards for local mental health services, either through the city, county or the college itself. The hotline would be optional for the University of California because the Legislature doesn’t have authority over UC.

Alvin Lee, a founder of Generation Up, said his group came up with the ideas after interviewing thousands of students throughout California about their needs and priorities. Mental health and political empowerment were top concerns, he said. He and his colleagues settled on these particular ideas because they could benefit many students, cost very little and are not especially controversial. “We see these as simple, straightforward ways to have a big impact,” said Lee, who’s a student at Claremont McKenna College. “Mental health is especially critical because it’s the foundation of a student’s well-being. They can’t focus and thrive in a learning environment unless they feel OK mentally.”