Rosen, Cardona Spoke With Students and Counselors About the Growing Student Mental Health Crisis and Rosen’s Bipartisan Bill to Address It
LAS VEGAS, NV – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) visited Spring Valley High School with U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Clark County School District Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara, and State Superintendent Jhone Ebert. They held a roundtable discussion with Nevada students and school counselors about student mental health and how the federal government can provide additional support to students, teachers, and school-based mental health providers.
In 2020, Nevada’s Clark County School District reported 20 student suicides while schools were closed for in-person learning – more than double the number in 2019. Earlier this month, Senator Rosen introduced the bipartisan Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Act, which would authorize the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to provide direct funding assistance to K-12 school districts for comprehensive student mental health promotion and suicide prevention efforts. This funding is currently available for colleges and universities, but not for K-12 school districts.
“Our kids are facing unprecedented stress that was made worse by the enormous difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many students in Nevada and across the country are struggling with isolation or feelings of grief, anxiety, and depression,” said Senator Rosen. “I was honored to speak with students and counselors from Spring Valley High School to hear their personal stories and learn more about how Secretary Cardona and I can support students, teachers, and counselors. Today’s conversation reinforces why I’m fighting to pass my bipartisan bill to expand federal funding assistance to K-12 school districts to support comprehensive student mental health and suicide prevention.”
“Getting to hear from students is the highlight of the work that I do as Secretary of Education. The last few years have been difficult. We should be thinking of new ways to get students to open up so they know they have the support that they need in their schools,” said U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona. “American Rescue Plan funds allow school districts to contribute the necessary resources to strengthen mental health support. It’s really important that we translate these funds into actions, like more school counselors, to ensure our schools have more ongoing support.”
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have worsened student mental health challenges that existed before the pandemic, leading to higher rates of student depression, anxiety, and suicide. These challenges have now reached a crisis point, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recently declared a “National State of Emergency in Children’s Mental Health.” Senator Rosen is a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Department of Education and federal support for mental health.