APA has endorsed the bipartisan Student Mental Health Helpline Act (H.R. 5235), introduced by Reps. Marie Newman (D-IL) and Chris Stewart (R-UT), which would create a grant program to support existing and promote new state student mental health and safety helplines. The legislation is based off similar initiatives that have been successfully implemented in several states. The helplines would operate through multiple media, including texting and social media; coordinate with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline; and with students’ consent, share their messages with schools so they can follow up with appropriate resources.
“By expanding the media through which crisis helplines operate, including texting and social media, the Student Mental Health Helpline Act recognizes the various ways in which today’s children and adolescents communicate,” said Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD, CEO of the American Psychological Association. “APA commends Representatives Newman and Stewart for introducing this bipartisan legislation, which provides more pathways for students experiencing mental health concerns to receive timely, quality support.”
For more information, contact Kenneth Polishchuk.