H.R. 628/S. 195 – Mental Health in Schools Act

Sponsor: Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Senator Al Franken (D-MN)

Purpose/Summary: Amends the Public Health Service Act to revise a community children and violence program to assist local communities and schools in applying a public health approach to mental health services, including by: (1) revising eligibility requirements for a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement; and (2) providing for comprehensive school mental health programs that are culturally and linguistically appropriate, trauma-informed, and age appropriate. Requires a comprehensive school mental health program funded under this Act to assist children in dealing with trauma and violence.

Sets forth assurances required for eligibility, including that: (1) the local education agency will enter into a memorandum of understanding with at least one relevant community-based entity that clearly states the responsibilities of each partner; (2) the program will include training of all school personnel, family members of children with mental health disorders, and concerned members of the community; and (3) the program will demonstrate the measures to be taken to sustain the program after funding terminates.

Status: House- 02/15/2013 Referred to the Subcommittee on Health. Senate- 02/12/2013 Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights.

AFSA Position: Looks very positive. Need to review bill text.