Gottheimer Introduces Biparty Legislation to Address Student Mental Health Crisis and Shortage of Mental Health Professionals

Gottheimer Introduces Biparty Legislation to Address Student Mental Health Crisis and Shortage of Mental Health Professionals

Fight to improve student health and safety

Improve access to health services and providers

WASHINGTON DC – US Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) helped lead the introduction of the bipartisan Mental Health Excellence Curriculum Act in Schools to address the critical shortage of mental health professionals, such as school psychologists, social workers and counselors. The bill will establish partnerships between the U.S. Department of Education and qualifying graduate programs to cover up to 50 percent of the tuition fees of students who earn graduate degrees in the field of school psychology. This investment will enable more people to become providers of school mental health services.

“The COVID-19 crisis has caused a historic wave of mental health issues, especially among our students. The pandemic totally disrupted their routines and kept them out of the classroom for much of the past year, and they missed seeing their friends, exploring hobbies and playing on their sports teams. “, said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “As our communities begin to rebound, this bipartisan bill will help ensure that we expand access to school-based mental health services and address the drastic shortage of mental health professionals – so that students in the north of Jersey and the country can get the support they need. “

“Ensuring that students have access to mental health resources is critical to their current and future success, as well as that of their peers. ” said Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1), the main Republican sponsor of the bipartisan bill. “Even in the US states with the most access to mental health services, over 38% of young people are not getting the mental health services they need. As co-chair of the Biparty Working Group on Addiction and Mental Health, I am proud to support the School Mental Health Excellence Program Act.

Support for the bipartite law on the program of excellence in mental health in schools:

“Schools play a critical role in meeting the mental and behavioral health needs of children and youth. This was true before COVID-19, but equipping schools to meet the mental and behavioral health needs of students must be a top priority as we seek to recover from the pandemic, ” said Dr Kathleen Minke, executive director of the National Association of School Psychologists. “Unfortunately, we face a shortage of school psychologists and other mental health care providers employed in schools, hampering the ability of schools to meet growing needs. We commend Representatives Fitzpatrick and Gottheimer for their leadership in introducing legislation that will help increase the pool of properly trained professionals to support our children’s learning and mental health in schools.

“As I enter my 25th year as a school psychologist, two major issues facing my profession that plague our education system are the growing needs of students for mental health and wellness as we are. faced with a national shortage of individuals in the field of school psychology to meet the growing needs ”, said Julia Szarko, National School Psychologist of the Year 2021. “Every day I experience this difficult reality as my colleagues and I desperately try to meet the needs of our students as our ratios far exceed recommended workloads. I fully support the School Mental Health Excellence Program Act 2021 and the path that the legislation will create to recruit, train and supply much needed school mental health staff, including psychologists. in schools, in our nation’s schools.

Find the text of the invoice here.


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