Testimony to House Public Health Committee
There are a number of reasons for state policymakers to address children’s mental health, including the opportunity to reduce the risk of youth suicide, substance use, bullying, delinquency, and school dropout and the opportunity to improve student learning and behavior at school. Schools are uniquely positioned to implement (and benefit from) strategies to address children’s mental health, and this testimony outlines several school-based strategies and programs that have proven effective. Nonetheless, the state has played a limited role in supporting these efforts or developing a statewide strategy on student mental health. This testimony closes with concrete steps that the Legislature and other state leaders can take to strengthen student mental health efforts in Texas.