Should Congress authorize federal funds to improve mental health accessibility in schools?

Awaiting Vote
Bill Summary

This bill authorizes $200 million in federal funding to local educational agencies, tribal schools and community-based organizations to (1) build partnerships between schools and organizations to help students access mental health services at school, (2) provide training for teachers, families, and community members to recognize and help students though mental health crisis, and (3) recognize the best practices to effectively deliver mental health care in schools. Sponsor: Sen. Tina Smith (Democrat, Minnesota) View full bill text ➔

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Opponents say

    At the time of research and publication, no official opponent statements were found. This does not necessarily mean that nobody opposes the bill, nor does it mean that statements won’t be made in the future.

Proponents say

    "Providing mental health services health to students at school—where they spend a significant portion of their time—helps them thrive. It removes many barriers to access, such as trying to figure out how to leave school in the middle of the day, and promotes behavioral health equity. There is an acute need for mental health services in schools for our youth. Even before the pandemic hit, young people were experiencing mental health conditions about as often as adults, and roughly 1 in 5 students were experiencing severe mental health issues. The fallout of COVID-19 has only exacerbated this issue. I'm going to work hard to move this bill forward." Source: Sen. Tina Smith (Democrat, Minnesota)

    "Because we value our children and our futures, we must also seize this moment to push for national investment. We are pleased that the House recently passed the Mental Health Services for Students Act. That act provides $130 million in competitive grants of up to $2 million each to expand the Project Advancing Wellness and Resilience Education program. The program provides on-site licensed mental health professionals in schools nationwide. We must push legislators to support passage of the act in the Senate" Source: Dr. Dave A. Chokshi, New York City’s Health Commissioner