Noting rising suicide rates and mental health problems among the state’s youth, a bill in the California Senate would require all new teachers to have mental health first-aid training.
State Senators Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) and Anthony Portantino (D-Pasadena) introduced the bill earlier this month with the support of county health officials, mental health program providers and child health advocates. Senate bill 428 would require all new teachers, as well as those renewing their teaching credentials, to complete a course on youth mental health first-aid.
If approved, the requirement would go into effect in January 2020.
On Tuesday, December 13, 2016, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act remarking that "those of us called upon to lead this country have a duty" to stand by the families and communities struggling with addiction. The significant funding included in the bill will help fight the ongoing opioid crisis, authorizing $1 billion in grants to states over the next two years. The National Council applauds Congress for the addiction and mental health provisions that will support community behavioral health providers in expanding access and looks to Congress to act quickly and include full funding for these provisions in the FY2017 appropriations package.