Davisson: Providing mental health resources to Hoosier students

Posted by: Abigail Campbell and Sydney Livingston  | Monday, April 22, 2019 9:00 am

 

 With session coming to a close shortly, lawmakers are working to fine-tune legislation. One of my priorities this session has been strengthening mental health resources in our schools. Providing students with the appropriate mental health treatment options is an important part of encouraging success both in school and at home.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, about 30% of high school students across the state have reported symptoms of depression. Many studies show those in poverty are at higher risk of dealing with poor mental health, and low-income families often cannot afford proper treatment options for their children. 

Those struggling with mental health are also more likely to fall into substance abuse and addiction. With the ongoing opioid crisis affecting the entire state, it is vital these students have access to proper treatment options early on. This is why I supported legislation that would provide mental health services to young Hoosiers.

Under this legislation, Indiana schools would partner with certified mental health providers and the Division of Mental Health and Addiction to offer students from low-income households counseling therapy, and addiction intervention and prevention services. By offering important resources, children can get the help they need while limiting their time away from the classroom.

Students would be able to work with a mental health professional while remaining in school with parental consent. Teachers and school guidance counselors could connect a student they believe could benefit from these services and their family to the professional support they need.

All children deserve to have access to the appropriate mental health resources if they want and need it. Ensuring students have the tools they need to be successful has been a top priority for the General Assembly throughout session. This legislation would give valuable mental health options to some of our most vulnerable.

To follow this legislation and see what else we are working on as session wraps up, visit iga.in.gov. If you have any questions or input on this bill or other legislation, contact me at 312-232-9850 orh73@iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Steve Davisson (R-Salem) represents House District 73,

Washington County, and portionsof Orange, Lawrence, Jackson, Clark and Harrison counties. 

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