Sen. Franken introduces bill to expand access to mental health care in schools

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Today, U.S. Sen. Al Franken introduced the Mental Health in Schools Act to ensure that schools provide access to critical mental health treatment for kids who need and deserve these services.

Sen. Franken’s bill would authorize funding for grants to schools and community mental health centers to work with community-based organizations to expand access to mental health services for students. It will soon be introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.).

Download an actuality HERE.

Sen. Franken’s bill has received broad support from mental health professionals, parents, educators, and law enforcement.  Today, he was joined on a conference call by Sue Abderholden, the Executive Director of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Minnesota chapter and Katie Johnson, a mom from Shoreview, Minnesota whose young son’s life has been transformed by in-school counseling.

During yesterday’s Judiciary Committee hearing on gun control, Baltimore County Police Chief James W. Johnson commended Sen. Franken’s bill and agreed that treatment in schools will help communities. You can view the video of Chief Johnson’s exchange with Sen. Franken HERE.

The Mental Health in Schools Act is cosponsored in the Senate by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Mary Ladrieu (D-La.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Jon Tester (D-Mont.).

The Mental Health in Schools Act would establish a grant program that would:

The Mental Health in Schools Act has been endorsed by more than 90 organizations in Minnesota and across the country. More information on the bill, including a full list of endorsing organizations, is available HERE.

Contact: Alexandra Fetissoff / alexandra@franken.senate.gov / 202-224-4645

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