Mental Health Bills Focus on Students’ Needs

First published in the Nov. 4 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

More than a year of distance learning took a toll on students and educators after schools shut down in March 2020 to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and California is committed to helping them rebound mentally and emotionally.
Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed a $123.9 billion, 22-bill package to develop mental and behavioral health support as well as expand broadband access — a lack of which proved problematic for students during distance learning. The package represents the highest per-pupil funding in history, according to the governor’s office.
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Mental Health Legislation Responds to Pandemic

First published in the Oct. 30 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

More than a year of distance learning took a toll on students and educators after schools shut down in March 2020 to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and California is committed to helping them rebound mentally and emotionally.
Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed a $123.9 billion, 22-bill package to develop mental and behavioral health support as well as expand broadband access — a lack of which proved problematic for some Californians during distance learning. The historic package represents the highest per-pupil funding in history, according to the governor’s office.
Continue reading “Mental Health Legislation Responds to Pandemic”

Portantino Bill Would Require Mental Health Education

State Sen. Anthony J. Portantino has introduced Senate Bill 224, which would require that all students in California receive age-appropriate mental health education.
The bill would ensure that pupils in grades 1-12 receive mental health education from a qualified instructor at least one time during elementary school, one time during middle school and one time during high school. As a result, students would receive instruction on mental health at least three separate times during their schooling.
Portantino’s bill requires that instruction and related materials would be appropriate for use with pupils of all races, genders, sexual orientations, and ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Instruction would also have to be appropriate for pupils with disabilities and English learners. Educational topics would include but would not be limited to the overarching themes and core principals of mental health.

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