Support educator mental health awareness training

Prevention, Early Intervention, & Youth
social determinants of health
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Coverage & Standards
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Federal department
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house committees
House Appropriations Committee
House Education and Workforce Committee
senate committees
Senate Appropriations Committee
Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee


Congress should amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to fund teacher and principal training and professional development on mental health and substance use challenges in children and adolescents.[1]


The onset of a mental health or substance use disorder (MH/SUD) occurs before age 14 for one-third of individuals and before age 18 for nearly half.[2] One in five students experience a significant mental health issue during their school years, highlighting the importance of educators understanding mental health conditions.[3] A number of pieces of legislation have been introduced to address the integration of evidence-based, trauma-informed, and culturally competent social, emotional, and cognitive skills programs in elementary and secondary schools and to train and educator training in best practices in responding to the mental health and behavioral needs of students.[4][5][6] Congress should fund educator training and professional development on mental health conditions in students by amending the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.[1]


1. The Kennedy Forum. Navigating The New Frontier of Mental Health and Addiction: A Guide for the 115th Congress. Last Updated January 2017.

2. Solmi, Marco, Joaquim Radua, Miriam Olivola, Enrico Croce, Livia Soardo, Gonzalo Salazar de Pablo, Jae Il Shin et al. 2022. Age at Onset of Mental Disorders Worldwide: Large-Scale Meta-Analysis of 192 Epidemiological Studies. Molecular Psychiatry 27:281-295. Last Accessed July 31, 2023.

3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of the Chief Medical Officer. Ready, Set, Go, Review: Screening for Behavioral Health Risk in Schools. Last Accessed July 31, 2023.

4. Mental Health Matters Act. H.R. 7780 (DeSaulnier), 117th Congress, (2021-2022). Last Accessed July 27, 2023.

5. Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Act. H.R. 1803 (Cardenas-Meuser) and S. 3628 (Rosen-Murkowski), 117th Congress (2021-2022). Last Accessed July 27, 2023.

6. Comprehensive Mental Health in Schools Pilot Program Act of 2021. H.R. 3549 (Trone-Fitzpatrick) and S. 2730 (Padilla), 117th Congress (2021-2022). Last Accessed July 27, 2023.