MH in Schools

Mental Health in Schools Act

Legislation Introduced in House of Representatives

On May 20, 2009, the
 Mental Health in Schools Act (HR 2531) was introduced by Representatives Grace Napolitano (D-CA) and Tim Murphy (D-PA) to expand school-based mental health services in elementary and secondary education programs. 

If signed into law, HR 2531 will:

- Revise, increase funding for, and expand the scope of the Safe Schools-Health Students program to provide access to more comprehensive school-based mental health services and supports;

- Authorize competitive grants to local school districts to assist them in implementing effective mental health programs for students (K-12), administered by state licensed or certified mental health professionals;

- Provide for comprehensive, culturally and linguistically appropriate staff development for school and community service personnel working in the schools to identify and support students in need of immediate mental health care and those at risk for behavioral mental health disorders, allowing teachers to concentrate on teaching;

- Promote positive mental health education and support for parents, siblings, and other family members of children with mental health disorders, as well as concerned members of the community;

- Require schools to thoroughly document measures of outcome and demonstrate the actions they are taking to continue sustaining the program independent of grant funds.

The bill has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee 
and currently has 29 co-sponsors.  More information on the bill is posted on the website of Rep. Napolitano (D-CA).

Posted on June 19, 2009