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Relating to consideration of the mental health of public school students in training requirements for certain school employees, curriculum requirements, counseling programs, educational programs, state and regional programs and services, and health care services for students and to mental health first aid program training and reporting regarding local mental health authority and school district personnel.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 18 would amend multiple sections of the Education Code concerning the mental health of public school students and corresponding training, services, and programs. Major provisions of the bill include the following: redefining mental health terms, the implementation of a comprehensive school counseling program, continuing educational requirements for educators, teaching training toward certain students, adding mental health to student curriculum including suicide and substance abuse prevention, the expansion of mental health care services on school campuses, as well as several other additions. HB 18 would also require TEA to publish the corresponding information regarding resources to mental health treatment on school districts' websites. Furthermore, HB 18 would set the criterion of non-physician mental health professionals for schools to employ or contact for services.
The purpose of this bill is to strengthen mental health education and services in public schools and to train teachers to be better prepared to recognize signs of mental health in students and to teach students about mental health issues.