Fitzpatrick cosponsors Expanding Access to Mental Health Services in Schools Act

U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) on Jan. 29 put forward bipartisan legislation that would authorize financial support for increasing the number of mental health services providers in America’s high-need school districts. 

“The number of mental health professionals in schools, including school counselors, social workers, and psychologists, does not meet the threshold needed to provide the comprehensive care our students deserve,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick, co-chair of the Bipartisan Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Task Force.

The congressman signed on as the lead original cosponsor of the Expanding Access to Mental Health Services in Schools Act of 2024, H.R. 7108, which is sponsored by U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT).

“I am proud to join Congresswoman DeLauro in introducing bipartisan legislation which addresses the shortages of mental health professionals in schools, and appropriately funds resources for tackling the mental health crisis in our nation,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick.

If enacted, H.R. 7108 would support high-need school districts in recruiting, hiring, retaining, and diversifying school-based mental health services providers to work with students enrolled in elementary schools and secondary schools, according to the bill’s text. The bill would authorize the award of competitive grants for a period of not more than five years that would be distributed among eligible agencies that will serve geographically diverse areas, including urban, suburban, and rural areas, the text says.

“It is time to maintain the momentum we have made in our efforts to ensure every child goes to a school with a qualified mental health professional in the building,” said Rep. DeLauro. “I am proud to introduce the Expanding Access to Mental Health Services in Schools Act to further that goal.”

The National Association of School Psychologists and the American Psychological Association support the measure.