HB 906

Status: Sent to governor
Author: Rep. Senfronia Thompson
Sponsor: Sen. Beverly Powell
Summary: Creates the Collaborative Task Force on Public School Mental Health Services to study and evaluate state-funded mental health services provided at a school to a student, family member or employee. The task force will also consider the training provided to an educator to provide the services, and the impact the services have on the number of violent incidents at schools, the suicide rate of individuals who have received the services, the number of students referred to the Department of Family Protective Services for investigation and the reasons for those referrals, the number of individuals transported from a school for an emergency detention, and the number of students referred to outside counselors.

The task force includes the commissioner of education; as well as commissioner appointees including parents of students receiving services, a service provider who is a licensed professional or certified school counselor or licensed clinical social worker, a psychiatrist, administrators at schools providing services, a member of a foundation that invests in mental health services or training, an employee of an institution of higher education, and a licensed specialist in school psychology.

The task force must meet at least twice a year.

The commissioner will designate an institution of higher education as a lead institution to provide support services, and two institutions to assist the task force and the lead institution. The commissioner must give preference to at least one predominantly black institution.

The task force will gather data on the number of students receiving mental health services, the capacity of the schools providing services, the number of students referred to an inpatient or outpatient mental health provider, the number transported from each district/charter school for an emergency detention, and demographic information.

It will evaluate and make recommendations regarding services, training and the impact of services, including on outcomes and effectiveness in improving academic achievement and attendance, reducing disciplinary proceedings and placements, and delivering prevention and intervention services to promote early mental health skills. It will also examine best practices, and disparities in race, ethnicity, gender, special education status and geographic location of individuals receiving services.

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