Co-sponsor S.2499/H.R.4381 the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Act
As a constituent who supports the health and well-being of children, I urge you to co-sponsor S.2499/H.R.4381 — the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Act. This bill will provide grant funding to states to address the nationally recommended staffing ratios for school counselors, school psychologists and school social workers.
Sadly, many of our schools are unable to adequately provide these vital services to our students as they lack the appropriate health and mental health professional staffing levels and are, consequently, unable to comprehensively address the vast and complex needs of our students.
Students are more likely to access mental health services if these services are readily available to them. Accordingly, we should work to ensure that the appropriate ratios of students to mental health professionals exist in our schools. This will ensure that these professionals are more accessible to students who require or seek their assistance. Moreover, since students spend so much of their day in their schools, it gives mental health professionals an ideal opportunity to observe and connect with members of the student body. However, if a school does not have a sufficient number of these mental health professionals available to students, these observations and connections may never happen, and students' needs may go unaddressed.
School-age children are forced to deal with an ever-increasing number of issues, such as: anxiety, depression, suicide, peer pressure, sexual identity and abuse, bullying, academics, home life, learning disabilities, alcohol and substance abuse and the threat of school shootings. These are national issues that transcend race and economic background and must be addressed in each school building by properly trained professional staff.
School-employed health and mental health professionals are specifically trained to evaluate and diagnose the health and mental health needs of students and offer the proper individualized supports and services needed for each student. Collaborative counseling, health and mental health services help ensure the wellness of each student. If left unaddressed, a student's mental health needs can have dire consequences, not only for the individual student but for the school community as well. A student's success in school and afterwards may depend on the support they receive in their school by the appropriate mental health professionals.
I ask that you co-sponsor S.2499/H.R.4381 and urge your leadership to advocate for the passage of this legislation. The enactment of the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Act will help ensure that adequate mental health services are readily available throughout our nation's public school system, and will help ensure that all students have access to a school psychologist, counselor and social worker.
Thank you for your consideration of this very important issue. I would greatly appreciate a response to this email.
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