We Need Your Help to Ensure Mental Health Care is Available and Accessible to Every Child Who Needs It
Investments in prevention and early intervention with children and adolescents ultimately help keep our kids alive.
There is a slate of mental health legislation that’s just passed the House, and now we need to help it through the Senate.
The Mental Health Services for Students Act (H.R.721/S.1841) provides funding for public schools across the country to build school-based comprehensive mental health programs. This legislation would allocate $130,000,000 in competitive grants of up to $2 million each through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s Project AWARE. This would fund staff and teacher training, mental health screenings for students, technical assistance to local communities, and access to licensed mental health professionals that students need to treat their mental health conditions.
Pursuing Equity in Mental Health Act (H.R.1475/S.1795)is the first comprehensive federal legislation to address increasing suicide rates and mental health disorders among Black youth. The bill would provide grants for culturally appropriate mental health services in schools and community settings; increase funding for research into mental health disparities in youth of color; increase support for diversifying the behavioral health workforce; and establish a commission to examine the effects of smartphones and social media on adolescent mental health.
The STANDUP Act (H.R. 586/S.1543)provides resources and technical assistance to states, tribes, and schools on student suicide prevention awareness and training. Equipping our schools with evidence-based suicide prevention policies will allow all stakeholders in the school community, including students, to speak up when they see or hear warning signs from a peer.
In addition to these federal policies, Hopeful Futures is developing state campaigns to launch in Fall 2021.
If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Crisis Text Line also provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they text HOME to 741741.