Mental Health & Education Advocacy

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Amy speaking at the Kennedy Forum roundtable on Mental Health

It is critical that we provide mental health and wellness services both in schools and in early childhood learning centers. By prioritizing social and emotional learning from the earliest grades, we can help give our children the tools they need to succeed in school and throughout their lives.

5 Pillars: The Pathway to Improving the Delivery of Mental Health Services in Education

Pillar 1: School-Community Partnerships

Developing collaborative working relationships between schools and the larger community will create pathways to ensure the delivery of comprehensive mental health services and allow for the creation of a system of care in which services within the school system are enhanced, not duplicated.

Pillar 2: School-Based Mental Health Services

In order to build the schools that we need, educational institutions must develop a framework for the delivery of mental health services that will meet a wide range of students’ needs.

Pillar 3: Early Identification

The development of universal mental health screening programs in public education institutions across the nation should be deemed as equally important as current programs that screen regularly for vision, hearing, dental, and academic deficits. When schools provide universal mental health screenings for students at key transition points throughout their education, they increase the likelihood of success.

Pillar 4: Educating the Educators

Educators are faced with a wide range of student social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. We must provide meaningful training and professional development that meets the needs of teachers and empowers them to take on these challenges with confidence.

Pillar 5: Sustainability

One of the greatest barriers to mental health services in schools is how to sustain programs over the long term. School districts and local agencies can identify innovative ways to implement, fund and sustain this critical support.

Organizations Amy Works With

Advocacy Campaigns

A campaign that educates consumers and providers about patient rights under the Federal Parity Law and connects them to essential appeals guidance and resources.
A nonpartisan initiative focused on elevating mental health and addiction in policy conversations during the 2020 election cycle.
A growing coalition of people from across the country who share a common goal to fundamentally improve mental health care policy — to heal ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities.

What We Are Fighting For

  • Increase funding for school counselors, nurses, and psychologists, so that every child has access to a range of community services to help them thrive.

  • Make free preschool available to every child.

  • Provide mental health literacy trainings for teachers and school personnel.

  • Require Medicaid to reimburse school-based mental health services.

  • Increase funding for mental health and addiction services at colleges and universities—and require colleges that receive federal financial assistance to invest in these critical programs.

  • Help schools develop and implement suicide prevention policies.