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Shaheen Urges Biden Administration to Improve Resources for Educators to Support Students Amid Youth Mental Health Crisis

Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) sent a letter to Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona calling on the Department to strengthen federal support for teachers and staff to assist students experiencing mental health challenges. In the letter, Shaheen urged the Department to better equip educators with the tools and training they need to address the youth mental health crisis that has worsened through the pandemic.

“The youth of America are facing an unprecedented mental health crisis…Tragically, young people struggling with mental health challenges do not have access to the mental health treatment they need. We are seeing a national shortage of access to mental health treatment across the board, and schools in particular are struggling to meet the need for increased mental health services for students,” wrote Senator Shaheen.

“I urge the Department of Education to provide better support for teachers grappling with the extreme mental health challenges that their students are experiencing. The pandemic has taken an enormous toll on teachers who have had to handle the hardships of remote and hybrid teaching, as well as the physical safety risks of COVID-19 in the classroom,” Shaheen continued. “The Department of Education must look to existing federal programs that fund teacher training and continuing education to help ensure teachers are equipped to face these challenges.”

You can read the full letter here.

Shaheen is a leader in the Senate working to shine light on the mental health crisis and promote suicide prevention efforts. Shaheen has fought to secure funding for mental health care and substance misuse services during the pandemic, including $4.25 billion in funding through last year’s emergency COVID relief legislation and nearly $4 billion through the American Rescue Plan. She’s also hosted virtual discussions on the youth and teen mental health epidemic, and she invited Maureen O’Dea, President of the New Hampshire School Counselors Association and Director of School Counseling at Londonderry High School, as her virtual guest to President Biden’s joint address to Congress last year to highlight the need to address teen mental health challenges. Shaheen also previously introduced the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Act, to increase the availability of mental health resources in America’s public schools.