Ossoff, Allen both introduce legislation on mental health

Debt ceiling debate continues as default deadline looms
Debt ceiling debate continues as default deadline looms(GRAY DC)
Published: May. 30, 2023 at 4:24 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (WRDW/WAGT) - U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff introduced a bill he says will expand access to mental health services for service members.

Ossoff, D-Ga., and Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., introduced the Military Mental Health Professionals Support Act.

Currently, mental and behavioral health specialists count toward caps on military personnel by rank, impacting recruitment and retention of mental health care providers. The bipartisan bill would cut red tape by removing those caps and permitting more specialists to provide vital care to servicemembers.

“I’ve introduced the bipartisan Military Mental Health Professionals Support Act to ensure our service members, who make tremendous sacrifices in our country’s defense, can access the mental health services they need while they defend our nation,” Ossoff said.

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WASHINGTON (WRDW/WAGT) - U.S. Rep. Rick Allen has introduced a bill to give school districts more flexibility in how they can use funds from an existing grant program to improve mental health services for students.

“As we wrap up Mental Health Awareness Month, I am proud to introduce this critical legislation to improve the mental health services available to students,” said Allen, R-Augusta.

Specifically, the bill would allow funds from the Every Student Succeeds Act to be used to:

  • Identify and disseminate best practices for mental health first aid.
  • Help establish or implement emergency planning, including deploying emergency response teams at schools during an emergency.
  • Establish relationships with local health agencies to improve coordination of services.
  • Provide telehealth services.

“Schools know the needs of their students and should have the flexibility and freedom to use funding to meet those needs,” Allen said. “Our nation’s youth are the future of America, and we must ensure school districts can provide the necessary resources and services to prepare students for success inside and outside the classroom.”