Legislation Signed by President Includes Senator’s Measure to Expand Mental Health Services in Schools, Especially for Children Living in Rural Areas
WASHINGTON, D.C. [10/24/18]—U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) helped write the bipartisan opioids legislation that the President signed into law today, which gives Minnesota and the nation the tools to combat the crisis by investing in long-term prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts.
Sen. Smith, a member of the Senate Health Committee, said the legislative package includes her measure to help bring mental health professionals into schools and community-based organizations in order to better reach families who need these vital services.
“Families in rural areas, small towns and downtowns, and in Indian Country are hurting from the opioid epidemic—I want to make sure we’re doing all we can to help states and tribes tackle this crisis,” said Sen. Smith. “I’m pleased that the bipartisan opioids legislation I helped write is now law. This gives us the tools to help encourage recovery, increase resources for prevention and treatment, and make sure emergency responders have access to naloxone. I’m also proud of fighting for my effort to provide mental health services for kids in school—especially children in our rural communities—because we know our young people are feeling the effects of the opioid crisis too.”
The opioids legislation President Trump signed into law today includes a number of efforts Sen. Smith has championed, including:
The bill also includes Sen. Smith’s Improving Access to Mental Health Services Act, which would help behavioral and mental health professionals provide support in schools and community-based settings in order to best meet the needs of communities. These changes would especially help improve access to mental health care for children living in rural areas.