Some lawmakers and community leaders say mental health challenges are on the rise for Minnesota students, and some schools are not equipped to handle them.
Rep. Kelly Moller, DFL-Shoreview, is the chief author of two different pieces of mental health legislation in the House.
“Educators say students are experiencing growing mental health needs. They told stories of kids having a mental health crisis and being returned to their classrooms without treatment,” Moller said.
The first bill would require all classroom teachers to complete mental health awareness and suicide prevention training.
The second bill calls for the creation of a new position called the Director of comprehensive Mental Health Services within the Minnesota Department of Education to develop and guide mental health resources and practices for districts across the state.
Of course, the real experts are students like Hopkins High School Junior Liv Steen. She says students are missing an important lesson.
“We don’t talk about mental health,” she said. “We don’t talk about how to ask for help or who to go to.”
Both bills will be considered at a public hearing of the House Education Policy Committee Tuesday night. There are corresponding versions of the bill in the senate as well.
If you or someone you know might be dealing with mental health issues, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a great resource. The number is 1-800-273-8255.