Allen Introduces Legislation to Expand Access to Mental Health Services for Students

Congressman Rick W. Allen (GA-12), a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, introduced H.R. 3669, the Expanding Student Access to Mental Health Services Act. H.R. 3669 would provide school districts with increased flexibility in how they can use funds from an existing grant program under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to improve mental health services for students.

After introducing the bill, Congressman Allen issued the following statement:

“As we wrap up Mental Health Awareness Month, I am proud to introduce this critical legislation to improve the mental health services available to students. Schools know the needs of their students and should have the flexibility and freedom to use funding to meet those needs. Our nation’s youth are the future of America, and we must ensure school districts can provide the necessary resources and services to prepare students for success inside and outside the classroom. The Expanding Student Access to Mental Health Services Act would allow schools to do just that.”

NOTE: Specifically, the bill would allow funds to be used to identify and disseminate best practices for mental health first aid; assist in the establishment or implementation of emergency planning, including deploying emergency response teams at schools during an emergency; establish relationships with local health agencies to improve coordination of services; and to provide telehealth services, a vital tool to ensure that any potential future school closures do not diminish the ability to serve vulnerable students.

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