Proposed bill would ensure access to behavioral health services in school buildings

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — A proposed bill would facilitate a stronger connection between schools and community providers so that students have better access to mental health care throughout Nebraska.

LB852, introduced by Senator Jen Day of District 49, would essentially require every school building in the state to have at least one designated point of contact for mental and behavioral health care — for parents and students. This is something only large public school districts have in Nebraska, but Senator Day is looking to expand that.

“And we think, you know, kids spend a lot of time in school and a lot of behavioral mental health issues come up during the school day in terms of academic issues, social issues,” Day said. . “And so often these issues happen so frequently when they’re in school, we think it would be really, really helpful to have one person in each building that the family can go to and say, hey d okay, we need something , who should we go here in the community.

Senator Day says we had a youth mental health crisis long before the pandemic, but with COVID the issue has become deadly and she thinks it’s an easy, but small step to provide a better connection between people. children and mental and behavioral health care.

A subject close to his heart.

“What is happening right now with the children is very, very scary. I myself have two children aged 9 and 13 and I see what is happening with them and their peers and how they have been affected by the past two years during the pandemic,” Day said. And I really, really believe that quality mental and behavioral health care is one of the best ways to make sure kids thrive.

It was brought to his attention that some might be concerned about how parents would be involved, but Senator Day would like to reiterate that these resources would be combined with parents.

“Students don’t just go to that person on their own, parents would be notified, and we always involve parents in this process,” Day said.

The bill went through a hearing and is now out of committee.

LB852 was actually introduced last year by Senator Lynne Walz, who chose to use her personal priority on this bill, meaning the bill should have time to debate.

If you want to know more about LB852, click HERE.

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