|Posted:||October 15, 2018 01:11 PM|
|From:||Representative Aaron D. Kaufer|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Behavioral Health Awareness Model Curriculum|
|In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that will require the PA Department of Education (PDE) to develop a model curriculum to assist school entities in providing behavioral health education.
As we are all well-aware, the lack of awareness and identification of behavioral health issues in our schools is not good for Pennsylvania students. Further, many of our students battle mental or behavioral health issues, yet lack an environment in which to cope or know who or where to turn to when in need. Due to lack of understanding, much of our society continues to stigmatize behavioral health issues, mainly due to the shortage of educational materials on the topic.
For these reasons, I plan to introduce legislation to address these persistent problems. As the General Assembly has done with other urgent subjects—such as child exploitation awareness—this legislation requires the PA Department of Education, in consultation with at least one organization addressing behavioral health, to develop model behavioral health curriculum to be made available for use by school entities.
Additionally, each school entity will be required to provide four hours of training on behavioral health awareness to professional educators. The four hours of training may be applied to a professional educator’s continuing professional education requirements.
I hope that you will join me in increasing behavioral health awareness, reducing the stigma related to behavioral health, and ultimately improving the lives of students struggling with behavioral health by co-sponsoring this important legislation. If you have any questions, please contact my office.