ISSUE

Texas statistics tell us that more than 6 million people have been diagnosed with mental health issues across the state and at least 19% of children have suicidal ideations at some point during their formative years. The likelihood of a child facing these struggles or knowing someone who does increases every day.

Currently, mental health related classes offered in Texas public schools target middle- and high-school ages. There is increasing evidence that these classes are needed to ensure healthy socio-emotional development at an even younger age: for elementary school students.

Two bills introduced this session, House Bills 2465 and 2954, would expand the curriculum to include classes that help children manage their own mental health and facilitate better mental health services for elementary school children.

  • HB 2465 by Rep Gervin-Hawkins requires that cultural inclusion curriculum be a part of the enrichment curriculum for public schools. It says that curriculum must include in-depth information about physical and mental health, and suicide prevention. Also, this social and emotional health programming would be designed to focus on the personal tools needed to manage emotions, establish positive relationships, and learn responsible decision-making. These soft skills are not included in traditional courses but certainly help children become more successful in life.
  • HB 2954 by Rep Thompson would provide mental health and suicide prevention, intervention, and post-vention services at the elementary school level. It would expand the services that currently exist in middle and high schools to lower grades. It would allow a campus to access local mental health authorities as resources for students following the suicide of a student or if the district feels the campus would benefit from outreach services.

CONTACT LEGISLATORS

HB 2954 by Rep Thompson

HB 2954 has passed out of committee. Please ccontact your state representative and ask them to vote YES when the bill comes up for a vote in the House.

Find out who represents you HERE. Then find the contact info for your state representative HERE.

You can say…

My name is ________ . I live in ________ and my ZIP code is ________. I urge Rep. {______} to support House Bill 2954. Elementary age children deserve a curriculum that provides mental health and suicide prevention services. And school districts should be able to collaborate with local mental health authorities to provide those services when they deem it necessary. Please vote YES on HB 2954.

HB 2465 by Rep Gervin-Hawkins

HB 2465 is still pending in the House Public Education Committee, so call or email every member of the committee (contact info below) and ask them to support this bill.

You can say…

My name is ___________ . I live in ________ and my ZIP code is __________ . I urge Rep. {_________} to support an inclusive curriculum and mental health related programming in our public schools by voting in favor of House Bill 2465. Children deserve a curriculum that provides the tools to manage their own emotional issues. HB 2465 would provide a better mental health related curriculum in our public schools. Please vote YES on HB 2465.


House Public Education Committee

  • Chair: Rep. Harold Dutton, harold.dutton@house.texas.gov, 512-463-0510
  • Vice Chair: Rep. J. M. Lozano, jm.lozano@house.texas.gov, 512-463-0463
  • Member: Rep. Alma Allen, alma.allen@house.texas.gov, 512-463-0744
  • Member: Rep: Steve Allison, steve.allison@house.texas.gov, 512-463-0686
  • Member: Rep: Keith Bell, keith.bell@house.texas.gov, 512-463-0458
  • Member: Rep: Diego Bernal, diego.bernal@house.texas.gov, 512-463-0532
  • Member: Rep: Brad Buckely, brad.buckley@house.texas.gov, 512-463-0684
  • Member: Rep: Mary Gonzalez, mary.gonzalez@house.texas.gov, 512-463-0613
  • Member: Rep: Dan Huberty, dan.huberty@house.texas.gov, 512-463-0520
  • Member: Rep: Ken King, ken.king@house.texas.gov, 512-463-0736
  • Member: Rep: Thresa Meza, terry.meza@house.texas.gov, 512-463-0641
  • Member: Rep: James Talarico, james.talarico@house.texas.gov, 512-463-0670
  • Member: Rep: Gary VanDeaver, gary.vandeaver@house.texas.gov, 512-463-0692

BACKGROUND

Information on Mental Health Issues in Texas

Bill Text