WEST TEXAS (KMID/KPEJ) — The Texas Senate approved Senate Bill 850 on Thursday, March 23rd, written by Senator Cesar Blanco.
This is all to to better connect rural school districts to mental health services and resources.
“We’re currently in the biggest mental health crisis of our time and its especially impacting our rural communities.” said Senator Blanco.
Senator César J. Blanco represents some portions of our West Texas viewing area, including Pecos, Reeves County and even El Paso County.
Senate Bill 850 will add a representative from a rural education service center to the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium.
“Children in rural communities are more likely to abuse substances and attempt suicide unfortunately, and its sad. They’re also less likely to have access to behavioral health care when they’re having a mental health episode or some type of emergency. We’ve got to do everything we can to improve access to care, and get rural communities and rural kids connected to mental health resources.” said Senator Blanco.
Senator Blanco says Texas is home to over 900,000 rural students, which grows by 30,000 each year. ESCS provides school districts with services to improve students’ mental, emotional, and social health.
With many recent mass school shooting attributed to mental health issues, Senator Blanco says this is a huge priority.
“We’re seeing more mental health issues at a younger age. So we’ve got to do everything to provide proper resources, to help them avoid tragedies like the one we just saw.” said Senator Blanco.
Senator Blanco also added this bill will be a bridge for rural kids to a statewide network of mental health services and resources, including tailored delivery for rural school districts.
Last week the bill was passed by the senate, and Monday the 27th, it was moved to the House now for approval. From there, it would be sent to the governor’s desk for approval.
We’ll keep you updated with the latest on that bill’s journey.