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La. lawmaker pushing for added mental health, substance abuse services in public schools

1 month 3 weeks 3 days ago Tuesday, April 02 2024 Apr 2, 2024 April 02, 2024 10:16 PM April 02, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - A lawmaker from Baton Rouge is pushing forward with a set of bills concerning mental health in the public school system. 

Senator Regina Barrow, D-Baton Rouge, says the goal of her bill package is to fight the fear students having a mental health crisis face. 

Tuesday afternoon, Sen. Barrow brought together folks from her district in support of what she says are key bills. 

"Many of them deal with issues regarding women and children, education, mental health, and group home regulations," Barrow said. 

Community advocate Tonja Myles is backing a bill about mental health and substance abuse education. She also supports a bill requiring schools in Louisiana to print 988 - the suicide hotline - on the back of school IDs.

"We need to pass these bills because our kids are going through a lot," Myles said. "They need to know that there's hope, and they need to know what the resources are."

According to the Louisiana Department of Health, suicide is the third leading cause of death for 10 to 24-year-olds in the state. Barrow says she hopes these bills will curb the statistics.

"Inadequate mental health affects not only individuals but their families and entire communities," Barrow said.

Senator Barrow is expected to present SB 346 to the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday.

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