Senate Bill For Student Mental Health Advances To House

Wednesday, March 16th 2022, 8:31 am

More mental health resources could be on the way for Oklahoma students.

This is due to a new proposal gaining support from lawmakers.

Senate Bill 626 would implement a three-step process to help schools address the needs of students who are struggling with mental health issues.

The first would require mental health facilities to advise parents to talk with their child's teacher about their condition.

Step two would be the follow-through, where parents have that discussion with the teacher.

That's just a suggestion and can't legally be required.

Step three would then have the teacher, parents and the mental health facility meet prior to enrollment to determine if the student has any extra needs.

Author of the bill, Republican State Senator David Bullard, has more than 15 years of teaching experience.

He says students struggling with mental health issues, especially kids coming out mental health facilities, have a lot of trouble adapting to regular school life.

This bill would help teachers know exactly what to do if that student is having a mental health crisis in the classroom.

"We want kids to be successful, we want them to be in the best situation that they can be. But if we don't know what is going on, we can't do that," said Bullard.