LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen has introduced a plan in Washington to make federal money available for schools to beef up mental health services for students.
The Clark County School District reported 20 student suicides in the first year of the coronavirus pandemic.
Senator Rosen, working with Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, wants to allow the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to provide funding to K-12 school districts.
The administration already provided funding for colleges and universities to provide mental health and substance misuse services.
“The loss of loved ones maybe not seeing their grandparents, loss of school, their parents may have lost their job, all of the effects of COVID just made it so hard for our kids for our kids or peoples’ grandkids,” Rosen said Thursday.
“Our students deserve the best education we can deliver, including focusing on and addressing their social-emotional and mental health needs,” CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara said in a statement. “With all of the resources CCSD currently provides to support the mental health needs of our children, we know our students respond in their individual ways and want to meet them where they are to support them in every way possible.”
If passed, the Rosen-Murkowski bill would allow SAMHSA to fund grade-school programs for mental health, including suicide prevention strategies, Rosen’s office said.
Help is available 24/7 by calling the National Suicide Lifeline at 800-273-8255.