Mental Health America today joined with a wide spectrum of organizations in supporting the Mental Health in Schools Act.
The legislation is being introduced by Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), co-chair of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus.
A letter of support sent to Napolitano and signed by Mental Health America states:
“We share your vision for expanding the availability of comprehensive school-based mental health services for students in communities across America. Undoubtedly, healthier students learn and perform better and a key component of academic success is addressing the mental health of our nation’s children and adolescents.
On Thursday, February 17, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano and a panel of mental health advocates and experts, including LA Laker Ron Artest and champion boxer Mia St. John, will examine the Mental Health in Schools Act, a bill authored by Napolitano to allocate federal grant funding for mental health services in schools. One in five children and adolescents in the United States currently suffers from a mental illness, and most will have shown their first symptoms by age 14. Professional treatment can prevent depression, crime, imprisonment and suicide later in life, but lack of support for mental health services has left many youth without help. By putting more licensed professionals on-site and in the schools, the Mental Health in Schools Act will help detect mental illness early and assist youth before their problems grow worse. The briefing will examine the potential effect of the Mental Health in Schools Act and hear from advocates who have personally been affected by mental health programs in their own lives.
More information available at www.napolitano.house.gov/mhsa.shtml