Senate Bill 11 stands out due to the increased budget towards schools and creating allotment for mental health in public schools
When looking at recent health care bills in the State of Texas, Senate Bill 11 stands out due to the increased budget towards schools and creating allotment for mental health in public schools. The new allotment will go towards counselors, training, and other resources to help the mental health crisis in Texas’ schools. The bill proposes to double the spending on resources like the Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine (TCHATT) under the Child Mental Health Consortium. SB 11 promotes school safety and security measures including prevention and treatment programs addressing adverse childhood events, providing mental health personnel, and providing programs related to suicide prevention (Ernst, 2023). SB 11 was created by Nichols and is sponsored by Ken King. The Texas legislature online does not mention any nurses’ action during the drafting or sponsoring of the bill. SB 11 made it out of the House and Senate Committee and has not reached the next stage where the bill needs to be passed by the House. The bill has not been enacted, it was postponed and will be proposed during the next legislative session (Texas State Legislature, 2023). Since the COIVD-19 pandemic, the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) was used to help expand mental health resources at public schools and helped reopen schools. This fund is expected to run out by next year. SB 11 will help bring funds back into the schools and bump the school’s safety allotment to help with mental health expenses (Ernst, 2023). This will allow for more counselors and social workers to be hired to provide prevention and treatment of mental health disorders while children are in school. I believe this bill could have a global impact on healthcare if all schools had allotments for mental health, providing more treatment and prevention for children who may be suffering due to the pandemic or from other adverse children’s experiences.
Ernst, S. W. (2023). Texas bills to expand mental health funding in schools stall at the legislature. Houston Public Media. https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/health-science/2023/05/22/452247/texas-bills-to-expand-mental-health-funding-in-schools-stall-at-the-legislature/
Texas State Legislature. (2023). S.B. 11 Relating to policies, procedures, and measures for school safety and mental health promotion in public schools and the creation of the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium. https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/88R/billtext/pdf/SB00011I.pdf#navpanes=0
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