March 28, 2022
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) led Senators Todd Younger (R-IN), Gary Peters (D-MI) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) within the introduction of recent bipartisan laws, the Psychological Well being Excellence in Faculties Act. This bipartisan invoice addresses the scarcity of psychological well being suppliers in faculties by authorizing the Division of Schooling to companion with greater schooling establishments to assist cowl college students’ prices at related graduate packages. The laws would increase the pipeline of graduate college students educated to develop into faculty psychologists, counselors and social employees responding to the youth psychological well being disaster that’s been worsened by the pandemic.
“The pandemic put a highlight on simply what number of college students throughout New Hampshire and the nation wrestle with isolation, despair and psychological well being challenges. We’d like psychological well being professionals in faculties outfitted to counsel college students and assist them heal from trauma. Sadly, we don’t have a robust pipeline of psychological well being suppliers, leaving many children and youngsters weak and with out the assistance they want,” mentioned Shaheen. “That’s why I’m introducing new bipartisan laws to spend money on the subsequent technology of psychological well being professionals serving in faculties. By serving to extra college students afford graduate packages centered on school-based psychological well being, we are able to appeal to extra employees to this essential discipline. The psychological well being disaster isn’t going away, and it’s previous time we dedicate assets and power in direction of holistically serving to these in want. We owe it to our youngsters to empower them with instruments to heal and succeed.”
“Entry to essential psychological well being assets in faculties is essential for the protection, well-being, and educational efficiency of Hoosier college students,” mentioned Senator Younger. “The Psychological Well being Excellence in Faculties Act will assist handle the extreme scarcity of psychological well being professionals by partnering with graduate faculties to extend schooling and participation within the school-based psychological well being workforce.”
“The pandemic has put a good better highlight on a few of the many struggles college students face with psychological well being. Each day, college students are confronting stresses and challenges that they’re too typically compelled to confront alone. We should make sure that college students – together with academics, faculty employees, and households – have the help they should overcome psychological well being challenges,” mentioned Senator Peters. “This commonsense laws will assist handle the scarcity of psychological well being professionals in our faculties – in order that college students in Michigan and throughout the nation can safely flip to somebody they will belief for assist.”
“Our kids are the longer term, and their psychological wellbeing is important for his or her educational achievement. In North Dakota, there’s roughly one faculty psychologist per 1,692 college students, which is way greater than the advisable ratio. Our college students deserve a secure and supportive studying setting. The Psychological Well being Excellence in Faculties Act addresses the present scarcity of school-based psychological well being suppliers to make sure college students have entry to assets to achieve and out of the classroom,” mentioned Senator Cramer.
“Our college students want extra help than ever, however with out sufficient faculty psychologists and different school-based psychological well being suppliers our faculties aren’t outfitted to satisfy their rising wants. We’re thrilled to see the bipartisan Senate introduction of the Psychological Well being in Faculties Excellence Program Act and thank Senator Shaheen, Younger, Peters, and Cramer for his or her management on this essential difficulty,” mentioned Dr. Kathleen Minke, Government Director of the Nationwide Affiliation of College Psychologists.
The Nationwide Affiliation of College Psychologists (NASP) recommends a ratio of 1 faculty psychologist per 500 college students. Nevertheless, the nationwide common ratio is estimated to be roughly one faculty psychologist per 1,200 college students, with huge variation amongst states.
The Psychological Well being Excellence in Faculties Act seeks to extend the recruitment and retention of psychological well being providers suppliers in faculties. The laws creates a program for the Division of Schooling to companion with eligible graduate establishments to cowl as much as the total price of school-based psychological well being graduate packages for college students at eligible establishments.
Comparable companion bipartisan laws was launched within the U.S. Home by Representatives Ryan Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ).
Full textual content of the invoice is offered right here.
Shaheen is a frontrunner within the Senate working to shine gentle on the psychological well being disaster. Shaheen has fought to safe funding for psychological well being care and substance misuse providers in the course of the pandemic, together with $4.25 billion in funding by final yr’s emergency COVID aid laws and practically $4 billion by the American Rescue Plan. She’s additionally hosted digital discussions on the youth and teenage psychological well being epidemic, and she or he invited Maureen O’Dea, President of the New Hampshire College Counselors Affiliation and Director of College Counseling at Londonderry Excessive College, as her digital visitor to President Biden’s joint handle to Congress final yr to spotlight the necessity to handle teen psychological well being challenges. Shaheen additionally beforehand cosponsored the Elementary and Secondary College Counseling Act, to extend the provision of psychological well being assets in America’s public faculties. Final month, Shaheen despatched a letter to Division of Schooling Secretary Miguel Cardona calling on the Division to strengthen federal help for academics and employees to help college students experiencing psychological well being challenges. Shaheen additionally helped present $111 million for school-based psychological well being providers by the FY22 omnibus handed into final week.