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Bipartisan Lawmakers Seeks to Expand Mental Health Services in High-Needs Schools

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This week, U.S. Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Jahana Hayes (D-CT) introduced legislation to address the urgent need for mental health services in schools. The Expanding Access to Mental Health Services in Schools Act builds on the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and increases the number of mental health professionals in schools by assisting high-need local educational agencies in recruiting, employing, retaining, and diversifying providers of school mental health services.  

Providing $500 million dollars of funding over five years, the bill would broaden the availability of mental health support for students attending both elementary and secondary schools. Grant funds are to be used for: (1) Employing school mental health service providers to deliver mental health services to students in high-need local educational agencies, as well as implementing evidence-based techniques to foster a positive school environment conducive to students' mental well-being; (2) Introducing strategies to attract school mental health service providers to underserved local educational agencies to address shortages, including offering salary supplements, relocation assistance, student loan repayment, or other financial incentives; (3) Adopting strategies to retain school mental health service providers within underserved local educational agencies such as providing ongoing professional growth opportunities, preparation programs, mentorship, or peer support.

To learn more, go here.

Posted:  2 February, 2024

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