ALEXANDRIA, VA. (February 1, 2013)—The following statement can be attributed to National PTA® President Betsy Landers:
National PTA supports the Mental Health in Schools Act of 2013 introduced today by U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-MN). National PTA believes that all children and youth have the right to mental health support services. Democratic Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32) plans to introduce the House version of the bill next week, and we commend the Congresswoman and Senator Franken for championing a proposal to improve access.
The Mental Health in Schools Act would establish a grant program to help school districts form innovative community partnerships and train school staff, volunteers, families, and other members of the community to recognize the signs of child and adolescent behavioral health problems and refer them for appropriate services. Research affirms that these types of family-school partnerships and healthy home, school, and community settings contribute to positive learning environments and positive outcomes.
National PTA believes this, in addition to gun violence prevention legislation, is another significant step toward ensuring the safety of all students. The time for legislative action to improve access to mental health supports in our nation’s schools is now, and we urge enactment of the Mental Health in Schools Act of 2013.
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
About National PTA
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.