Groups Urge Legislature to Create Student Mental Health Allotment

Today 36 Texas organizations delivered a request to the state Legislature to create and fund a “student mental health allotment” in the remaining weeks of the legislative session to provide dedicated mental health funding to Texas school districts.

Citing several mental health initiatives already under consideration at the Legislature, the statement says:

The Legislature is taking important, positive steps this session to address children’s mental health — but there is a major gap in the bills that are moving. The Legislature’s mental health plan needs to reach a much larger number of children and include support for prevention and other strategies that reach children before a crisis.

The statement notes that the TCHATT telemedicine program championed by the Legislature this session provided services to 0.3% of the students on the campuses it served in fiscal year 2022. By contrast, in 2021, 33% of Texas high school students reported persistently feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed during the previous month and 22% seriously considered suicide, according to the Texas Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

The statement expressed strong support for expanding TCHATT but also called for efforts to reach more students.