WASHINGTON – To mark Children’s Mental Health Week, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) announced they have reintroduced bipartisan legislation to improve mental health resources in schools. The Improving Mental Health and Wellness in Schools Act would add mental health as a category for inclusion in local school wellness policies and allow licensed mental health professionals and registered dietitians to collaborate on the development of local school wellness policy mental health goals.
“Over the past few years, more young people have reported a decline in their mental health. That’s why we must prioritize mental health education and services within our schools,” said Klobuchar. “Our bipartisan legislation would include mental health care as a key component of local school health policies, ensuring that our students have access to the resources they need to thrive.”
“The Improving Mental Health and Wellness in Schools Act equips Wyoming schools with the tools needed to address and destigmatize mental health issues,” said Lummis. “We have witnessed a concerning rise in mental health conditions, especially in our youth, following draconian COVID lockdowns. Educating kids across Wyoming how to best maintain their mental and physical health will ensure that future generations excel and live life to the fullest.”
The Improving Mental Health and Wellness in Schools Act would also allow the Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to consult with the Departments of Agriculture and Education on technical assistance and best practices. Local school wellness policies guide a school district’s efforts to create a supportive school nutrition and physical activity environment.
Klobuchar has long led efforts to increase access to mental health services. In February 2022, Klobuchar and Lummis introduced bipartisan legislation to address the negative impacts of social media, including on youth mental health.
In December 2021, Klobuchar and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced the Vet CENTERS for Mental Health Act to expand access to mental health services for veterans and their families.