HB 19

Status: Signed by governor

Author: Rep. Four Price

Sponsor: Sen. Kirk Watson

Summary: Requires local mental health authorities (LMHAs) to employ a non-physician mental health professional to serve as a resource for school districts in the region of a regional service center where the LMHA provides services. Requires service centers to provide space for the professional to carry out required duties. The employing LMHA must pay a fee to the service center for providing space and administrative support, not to exceed $15,000/year (unless a higher amount is agreed to). The mental health professional will act as a resource for the service center and school district personnel by helping personnel gain awareness and better understanding of mental health and substance use disorders, helping personnel implement related initiatives, ensuring personnel are aware of best practices and available programs, and facilitating monthly training on mental health first aid, effects of grief and trauma including support for children with intellectual or developmental disabilities, and drug/alcohol prevention and intervention programs. The mental health professional may not treat or provide counseling to a student or provide specific advice to personnel regarding a student. Districts are not required to participate in the training or use the professional as a resource. Each LMHA that employs such a mental health professional must report annually to the Health and Human Services Commission on outcomes for districts and students resulting from services provided by the professional, and HHSC will compile the information and report to the appropriate state leaders and lawmakers. Includes the provision that a LMHA is required to implement provisions only if money is specifically appropriated for that purpose.

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