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Nevada U.S. Sen. Rosen introduces U.S. mental health support bill

Las Vegas Sun - 6/23/2022

Jun. 23—U.S. Sens. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., introduced federal legislation today aiming to expand mental health training access for teachers so they can better recognize mental health disorders in youth across the country.

The Expanding Access to Mental Health Training Act will reauthorize and improve the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's mental health awareness training grant program, which would expire this year without Congressional action, Rosen's office said in a statement.

The Mental Health Awareness Training (MHAT) program provides grant funding to states, local governments, tribes and nonprofits to train teachers, first responders, law enforcement officials and veterans to recognize and respond to youth mental and behavioral health disorders, according to Rosen's office.

"As we've seen in communities all across Nevada and our country, the pandemic has only exacerbated the existing mental health crisis," said Rosen, who is a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, in the statement.

"It is often our teachers and first responders who first meet youth facing a mental health crisis, and that is why we must ensure they have the necessary training and resources to respond and support those in need," Rosen continued. "This program is critical, and we must work to reauthorize and enhance it."

Kim Young, CEO of the Children's Cabinet, said in the statement that the mental health training act has allowed the children's cabinet, a nonprofit organization that provides free programs and services to children and their families, to offer free workshops and teach parents, mentors, teachers, coaches and others on how to help a child experiencing a mental health challenge.

"The Children's Cabinet supports, and urges, the reauthorization of the Mental Health Awareness Training Grants program as it provides critical training opportunities for people to be able to understand suicide and depression warning signs and make appropriate referrals," Young stated. The grants "have the ability to educate, create awareness and save lives."

The Nye Communities Coalition also was a MHAT grantee when the pandemic started, said Stacy Smith, CEO of the Nye Communities Coalition.

"This grant allowed us to ease the stress COVID put upon our community," Smith said in a statement. "This bill will provide the resources that communities need to help our children, families, adults, and seniors manage their emotional and mental health."


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