Improve Mental Health Access and Screenings in Schools.

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The current mental health crisis in our schools have contributed to recent tragedy, increased teacher burnout and issues with school connectedness and bullying. By 2020, “mental and substance use disorders will surpass all physical diseases worldwide as major causes of disability.” Early intervention with mental health services in the lives of students will help normalize mental health services from an early age and help prevent future issues if children and families are linked with providers early on.

This petition proposes the addition of a psychosocial mental health screening to the current school entry health exam required for school enrollment. The current requirements for school health exams include a variety of testing such as vision, hearing and general physical health, but excludes any mental health or psychosocial screening.

Regular and early detection of mental health issues and stressors could help to reduce instances of childhood onset disorders from progressing into adulthood with the implementation of early treatment, thus potentially reducing issues in later adolescents that attribute to bullying and school violence. As a mental health professional, as well as a former guidance counselor, I feel strongly that increasing the connection between schools and the mental health community could potentially set up a safety net if school bullying or stress, whether at home or in school, does occur.  A child is much more likely to seek out help if it is normalized, accepted and the resource is already present.

I have contacted my local representatives and need one of them to listen, and take this important topic to the House by helping to draft a Bill and present it. That is where I need your help and support, we need to show them that mental health in the schools matter! Please sign this petition to show your support!



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