In the wake of recent school shootings, Texas lawmakers are exploring a bill to provide more mental healthcare services to students in the public school system.
According to the Texas Tribune, Senate Bill 10, filed by Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, would create the Texas Mental Health Care Consortium, a $100 million initiative to bring universities and other health care providers together to connect children to mental health services, among other things. While the bill has been criticized over several points, including privacy concerns and the fact that it would solely provide healthcare referrals to students instead of actual care, Nelson maintains that it will help prevent school violence by helping to address the mental and emotional issues facing children who commit acts of violence, as well as help alleviate basic fears students have around going to school.
“This bill is going to help young people get the care that they need, and it will ultimately save lives,” Nelson said.
Studies have found that there is a large gap in the public school system when it comes to helping kids receive the type of support and mental healthcare they need in the face of all of the issues they face in school, like bullying, physical fights, and larger incidents of school violence. While critics warn that Senate Bill 10 alone would not resolve the issue, there is consensus that much more is needed when it comes to addressing the emotional wellbeing of students.
Read the full story at the Texas Tribune.