Del. Elementary School Students’ Mental Health Addressed With Legislation

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The mental health and well-being of Delaware elementary school students is a concern addressed with legislation in the General Assembly.

The measure would allow schools to hire counselors, social workers, psychologists or other mental health professionals based on the numbers of students enrolled.

House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst, D-Bear, is the sponsor of House Bill 100, which was released Wednesday by the House Education Committee.

“As we’ve seen time and time again, schools aren’t just spaces to learn lessons out of a textbook. They are formative years in a child’s life, and mental health services are critical to that foundation. The need for more adequate services has become even clearer during the past year due to COVID, which has put an enormous mental health stress on our children,” Longhurst said. “This bill will address the disparity and shortfall of mental health professionals in Delaware elementary schools. For far too long, the mental health of our students has been treated as a secondary need – if even that much. The truth is, the mental health of our young students is vital to them growing, learning and becoming successful adults. This pandemic has only magnified the need to put our students’ mental wellness at the front of the line.”