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Mental health care in schools


by Trinity Gruenberg

    Governor Dayton proposed the Safe and Secure Schools Act on March 7. The act would help protect kids, reduce gun violence, save lives and make a needed investment in school safety and students’ mental health.

    The act would provide $15.9 million ($18 per student) in 2019 to enhance safety for students, teachers, parents, and staff at schools throughout Minnesota. The proposal also includes an additional $5 million for school-based grants that would provide mental health services to students who need added support.

     Minnesota has invested more than $11 million in school-based mental health programs. Dayton’s proposed act builds on this progress. These new resources would help improve access to mental health care for children and youth who are uninsured or underinsured.

    “Minnesota students, parents, and teachers need all of our schools to be safe places to learn and grow,” said Governor Dayton. “Our mission is to prevent every school shooting. To succeed, we must take action now. I urge the Legislature to act this session to improve school safety and reduce gun violence in Minnesota.” 

    This would include intervention and support for expelled students–highlighted due to the Parkland, Florida school shooting. 

    The act would provide school districts and charter schools additional revenue to make building improvements, such as secured entrances, bulletproof glass, or other classroom security measures. Schools could use the additional funds to hire more school resource officers, counselors, or other student support staff. 

Schools and mental health

    The Minnesota Department of Human Services website shared that nine percent of school-age children and five percent of preschool children have a serious emotional disturbance, which is a mental health problem that has become longer-lasting and interferes significantly with the child’s functioning at home and in school. . . .

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