Grassroots Action Center

Please support H.R.5235 - Student Mental Health Helpline Act of 2021

Counselors recognize the incredible stress that youth and students have faced as the pandemic has progressed across the globe. Confirming the troubling trends counselors are seeing with their young clients, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported a more than 30% increase in youth suicide-related emergency department (ED) visits in 2020 compared to 2019. For female youth, that number was even more concerning with female youth ages 12-17 evidencing a 50% increase for suicide-attempt ED visits.

Students across the country have been impacted by COVID-related disruptions which have fractured the resources youth need to support their social and emotional health. Research has demonstrated that more than a third of students receive mental health services only from schools, with students from lower-income households and students of color being even more likely to access mental health services in an education setting only. These mental health concerns do not stop when the school day ends and youth often find themselves with limited resources for support outside of school hours. 

H.R. 5235 would ensure that all states have a helpline focused on the specific needs of youth.  H.R. 5235 would create a grant program at SAMHSA to support states’ existing mental health helplines and help states without an existing helpline to create one. These helplines would be free, confidential, and available to students over texting, social media, and other platforms. 

Our country's long-term success requires that we address the health needs of our youth today. We must act to ensure that these important members of our community have the resources they need for health and wellness. Please reach out to encourage your representatives to support H.R. 5235!


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