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Student mental health

Supporting the behavioral health of K-12 students

APA has endorsed a bill that would provide support and technical assistance to schools for student mental and behavioral health services.

Cite this
Polishchuk, K. (2020, August 6). Supporting the behavioral health of K-12 students.

teen student talking with professional

APA has endorsed bipartisan legislation, introduced by Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), that would provide support for school-based mental health services. As high numbers of school-aged children are facing social and emotional health challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including loneliness, anxiety, and depression, demand for such services is only expected to increase. The Strengthening Behavioral Health Supports for Schools Act (H.R. 7859)—which was drafted with input from APA staff—authorizes and funds a technical assistance and training center, through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, to help ensure that K-12 students receive mental health and substance use disorder care. At a recent event, APA staff personally thanked Congressman Cárdenas for his leadership and work on this critical bill.

“The American Psychological Association supports this bipartisan legislation and applauds Representative Cárdenas’ leadership in addressing the mental and emotional needs of students,” said Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD, CEO of APA. “As the demand for behavioral health services in a school-based setting continues to grow, especially as a result of COVID-19, this bill would provide schools with critical support and technical assistance, through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, to help address these concerns.”

For more information, contact Kenneth Polishchuk.