Lawmakers push for more mental health staff in Tennessee schools
MHSAS commissioner asks for expansion of school-based behavioral health liasons.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Some Tennessee lawmakers are pushing for more mental health resources in schools.
Commissioner Marie Williams made the ask at a recent state budget meeting. Throughout Tennessee schools, more than 270 offer mental health support out of 333, but there are calls for more resources.
Williams is the Mental Health and Substance Abuse services commissioner, and she says the need for funding is at its peak. She said that about 96,000 Tennessee students are dealing with mental health issues and 61,000 are struggling with substance abuse.
She’s asking the state to expand school-based behavioral health liaisons,
“If we could get funding to serve every school with a liaison, we would really see incredible, phenomenal outcomes because that principal would have one person that’s connected with our behavioral health in substitute network to get services for those kids,” Williams said.
Williams is also seeking increased rates for providers, a one-time expansion of the children and youth crisis stabilization unit and to expand the addiction recovery program by adding 30-40 more providers.
Copyright 2023 WSMV. All rights reserved.