US Department of Education Teams Up with State and Local Organizations to Improve Student Access to Mental Health Support

The U.S. Department of Education, along with the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE), the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO), the National Association of Counties (NACo), and the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM), have issued a joint statement to strengthen their shared commitment to enhancing mental health support for students:

“Across the country, students are facing ongoing challenges related to mental health. The disruptions caused by the pandemic have further exacerbated the already increasing rates of depression, anxiety, and hopelessness among students, both in their academic and social lives. It is crucial that we all recognize our role in addressing this pressing need, from classrooms to Congress.”

“Schools have the potential to serve as a gateway to vital mental health services that may otherwise be unavailable. At the federal level, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) has prioritized two key elements of success: people and resources. This includes a $2 billion investment to establish safe and inclusive learning environments for students, as well as the recruitment and training of approximately 14,000 new mental health professionals. Additionally, ED is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to expand access to Medicaid reimbursement for school-based health and mental health services.”

“As organizations representing state and local leaders, we have been actively equipping these leaders with the necessary resources to address the current situation. While we are dedicated to this work, we understand that the most effective and sustainable solutions require coordination and commitment from all levels of government.”

“Recognizing the significant impact of collaboration, we pledge to continue our individual efforts while also supporting and collaborating with others to ensure that every student, regardless of their location, has access to the mental health support they need.”

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