House Education Committee convenes two-day hearing to address mental health in schools

HARRISBURG, Jan. 17 – As part of his continued commitment to protecting Pennsylvania students, today the House Education Committee, chaired by Majority Chairman state Rep. Peter Schweyer, began two days of hearings to address mental health in schools.

“There is no question, Pennsylvania’s children need adequate mental health support to ensure they stay on their path of success,” said Schweyer, D-Lehigh.  “However, due to years of underfunding, school districts have faced provider and staffing shortages and as a result, students are left with insufficient programs and support. The hearings this week highlight both the importance of school based mental health support and the immediate need for them to help our children.”

House Majority Chair, state Rep. Mike Schlossberg, also attended the hearings. Schlossberg is the legislature’s leading advocate for mental health, founding the House Mental Health Caucus in 2015, working to pass groundbreaking legislation expanding services to first responders, and serving on state and national commissions focusing on improving access to mental health care – sharing his personal struggles to help bring mental health challenges out of the shadows.

“I’m thrilled that Chairman Schweyer is holding these hearings. The rise in mental illness – combined with the chronic lack of investment in mental health – means that we need to do more. No more empty words or promises. Let’s fund mental health treatment options in our schools,” said Schlossberg, D-Lehigh.

Added Schweyer, “The conversation on mental health does not end this week. This is an immensely important topic and the House Education Committee will be continuing the conversation throughout this legislative session.”

The hearings will resume tomorrow morning and can be watched here. The Education Committee will also be voting on four bills tomorrow to address mental health of students and student athletes as well as increasing access to school counselors.