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January 28, 2022

Trone Continues Push to Address Youth Mental Health Crisis and Fund School-Based Mental Health Services

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 28, 2022

Contact: Sasha Galbreath, Sasha.Galbreath@mail.house.gov 

Trone Continues Push to Address Youth Mental Health Crisis and Fund School-Based Mental Health Services

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman David Trone (MD-06) sent a letter, alongside over 70 other Members of Congress, to urge House and Senate Appropriations leadership to prioritize funding for programs that address the severe shortage of school-based mental health professionals. 

Last May, Trone introduced the Comprehensive Mental Health in Schools Pilot Program Act, which would fund pilot programs in primary and secondary schools to fully fund mental and behavioral health prevention and intervention programs aimed at mitigating mental health issues among students.

Full text of the letter can be found here

In the bipartisan letter to the leadership of House and Senate Appropriations Committees, Members emphasized the need to act and highlighted U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy’s recent advisory on protecting youth mental health. Members noted how the COVID-19 pandemic continues to severely affect the mental health of young people and emphasized the need for greater school-based mental health services.

“We are seeing the crisis described in the Surgeon General’s advisory reflected in our own communities, where we are witnessing unprecedented increases in mental and behavioral health concerns among our young people. We are hearing more than ever before from parents, students, and educators about the urgent need for greater mental health supports, particularly for increased numbers of school-based mental health service professionals,” the Members wrote.  

In the letter, Members urged negotiators to commit to addressing the crisis by providing the maximum possible funding for two programs at the Department of Education, the Mental Health Services Professional Demonstration Grants program and the School-Based Mental Health Services Grants program, in the Fiscal Year 2022 spending package. Together, these programs address the critical shortage of school-based mental health professionals in two essential ways: by increasing the available workforce, and by helping school districts support increased positions to improve access to services.    

The United States’ growing youth mental health crisis has been exacerbated by the pandemic and could have wide-ranging, long-term effects on an entire generation. From 2007 to 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that suicide rates among young Americans increased 56 percent. Suicide is currently the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-24, and the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to accelerate these tragic trends.

Congressman David Trone was elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018 to serve the 6th District of Maryland, which includes all or part of Montgomery, Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett Counties. Trone serves on the Appropriations, Veterans’ Affairs, and Joint Economic Committees. In Congress, Trone is fighting to make progress on issues that matter to Marylanders, including the mental health and addiction crises, criminal justice reform, and funding for medical research.

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