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Napolitano & Katko Introduce Mental Health Services for Students Act

February 8, 2019
Press Release

(WASHINGTON, DC)  Today, Congressional Mental Health Caucus Co-Chairs, Reps. Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA-32) and John Katko (R-NY-24), along with 56 original cosponsors, proudly introduced H.R. 1109, the Mental Health Services for Students Act, to fund on-site mental health services for youth in schools nationwide.

“The Mental Health Services for Students Act builds on the great success of our youth suicide prevention program in Los Angeles County, where we are raising mental health awareness, reducing harmful stigma, and connecting our future leaders to life-saving care,” Napolitano said. “Improved access to services forprevention, early identification, and intervention has helped countless youth in our communities thrive in school, at home, and in life, and it is a model that should be expanded to serve families across America. I thank Congressman Katko for his continued partnership, and I am grateful to all of our colleagues for joining in support of this critical legislation.”

“In Central New York and in communities nationwide, there is a critical need to improve access to mental and behavioral healthcare in our schools,” said U.S. Rep. John Katko. “Early intervention and preventative mental health programming is vital to treating and building better lives for the many children and families nationwide whose lives are impacted by mental illness. I’m proud to once again join my colleague Rep. Napolitano in re-introducing this measure and thank her for her leadership on this issue.”

The Mental Services for Students Act, which Napolitano sponsored in the previous six Congresses under the title “Mental Health in Schools Act,” would create a total of $200 million in grant funding for 100 schools across the country to provide on-site, culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health services for students. The proposal educates the entire school community—from students and their families, to teachers, administrators, and support personnel—on the warning signs and symptoms of mental illness to help identify and treat mental health issues before they escalate. It is patterned after a successful pilot program started in 2001 in Napolitano’s area, which began in four schools that has now expanded to 29 schools throughout Los Angeles County, including much of the San Gabriel Valley.

Joining Napolitano and Katko as original cosponsors are: Ben Ray Luján (NM-03), Alan S. Lowenthal (CA-47), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Suzan K. DelBene (WA-01), Paul Tonko (NY-20), David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Lloyd Doggett (TX-35), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Seth Moulton (MA-06), Adam B. Schiff (CA-28), Peter Welch (VT- At Large), Denny Heck (WA-10), Raul M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Katie Hill (CA-25), Judy Chu (CA-27), Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24), Robin L. Kelly (IL-02), Kathleen Rice (NY-04), Tim Ryan (OH-13), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Tom Reed (NY-23), Rick Larsen (WA-02), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14), Jackie Speier (CA-14), Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Darren Soto (FL-09), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Pete Aguilar (CA-31), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Peter A. DeFazio (OR-04), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (MP), Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Thomas R. Suozzi (NY-03), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (CA-39), Doris Matsui (CA-06), Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38), Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02), Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Salud O. Carbajal (CA-24), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Jerry McNerney (CA-09).

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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