October 2004 - The President Signs the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act
On October 21st the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act that contained within it elements of the Campus Care and Counseling Act (an APA initiated piece of legislation) was signed into law by the President of the United States at a White House ceremony, which was attended by APA Education Executive Director Cynthia Belar. The Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act was introduced by Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) in memory of his son who had recently committed suicide. This legislation, which was unanimously adopted by the U.S. Senate (twice) and supported overwhelmingly in the U.S. House of Representatives, will make a significant difference in the lives of hundreds of young people across our nation.
The Campus Care and Counseling Act was introduced in both chambers of Congress with bi-partisan support earlier in the 108th Congress as an amendment to the Higher Education Act. It was introduced in the House in the fall of 2003, by Representatives Danny K. Davis (D-IL) and Rep. Tom Osborne (R-NE), and in the Senate in the spring of 2004, by Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Mike DeWine (R-OH) along with Senators Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Gordon Smith (R-OR). Just prior to the August 2004 recess, Senator Smith rolled a number of bills together that addressed youth suicide (S. 2175/HR 4457 - Youth Suicide Early Intervention and Prevention Expansion Act of 2004 and S.2215/HR 3593 - Campus Care and Counseling Act) and introduced it as the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) oversees the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act programs, including the campus mental health components from the Campus Care and Counseling Act. Web updates on the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act and the campus mental health programs will now be under SAMHSA.