Harrisburg − June 15, 2022 − Senator Jim Brewster announced today that he is the prime co-sponsor of legislation aimed at improving student mental health. This bill seeks to put more school-based mental health care programs and professionals into classrooms.

Senator Brewster and Senator Williams are co-sponsoring SB 1285, which will focus the majority of grants awarded through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s School Safety and Security program for the 2022-23 school year on funding applications for projects that support students’ behavioral and mental health.

“As a member of Pennsylvania’s School Safety and Security Committee, I have been a leading advocate for more resources for mental health services in our schools,” Brewster said. “This legislation will direct a majority of funding for 2022-2023 to school districts for additional mental and behavioral health programming.”

This legislation is modeled after a similar step that the General Assembly took in 2020, when it temporarily focused these grants on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Even before the pandemic, students have been telling us that there is a growing youth mental heath crisis,” said Senator Williams. “Safe2Say reports let us know that bullying, suicide, and self-harm are three of the biggest problems facing our students right now, and it’s time for the General Assembly to take action to address these. We’ve talked about how the pandemic has caused a mental health crisis in our students for over two years—it’s long past time we start taking action to fund the services that can provide immediate assistance to those students.”