It is a common sentiment in the pediatric community that our current health care system does not meet the needs of the 1 in 5 children in the United States with a diagnosable mental health disorder. There is a current bill in Congress that speaks to this very problem: The Mental Health in Schools Act of 2013. This bill would require a comprehensive school mental health program that would assist children in dealing with trauma and stress and would encourage community partnerships among education systems and mental health and substance use disorder services and other agencies.
The program would also include training of all school personnel and family members of children with mental health disorders. AAP has endorsed this proposal to help ensure that children have better access to quality mental health services. This bill was introduced into the House of Representatives in February of 2013 and has currently been assigned to a congressional committee.
To learn more about the AAP and mental health
To learn more about the AAP school based mental health services.
To learn more about the AAP’s stance on the Mental Health in Schools Act of 2013
Lekshmi Pillai Daram MD