Assemblymember Chu Introduces Bill to Place Mental Health Professionals on All K-12 Campuses

Monday, December 3, 2018
CONTACT: Annie Pham, (916) 319-2025
(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Ringing in a new legislative session, today Assemblymember Kansen Chu introduced Assembly Bill 8, a bill requiring all K-12 campuses to have at least one mental health professional available for students, with a 600 student to one professional ratio requirement. Along with the legislation, Assemblymember Chu will request $100 million in new funding to ensure schools have enough resources to implement the mandate. This bill is building on Assemblymember Chu’s efforts last year, AB 2022, which requires all schools to provide students and parents with information about available mental health services biannually.
“I am looking forward to getting to work this year, and mental health support for our kids is among my top priorities,” said Assemblymember Kansen Chu (D-San Jose). “I’ve heard from many youth visiting my office that mental health support is what they want and need. Early access to mental health support is critical to helping our kids build healthy futures. Unfortunately, California has fallen behind in providing pupil support services and it is affecting our children’s well-being.
Research shows that over 70 percent of children with mental health needs never receive treatment and the number climbs to 80 percent for children in poverty or with non-English speaking parents. This status quo is unacceptable. That’s why I’m continuing my work this year to make sure every child in California has a safe place to go for mental health support.”
Assemblymember Chu is collaborating with Mental Health America of California (MHAC) and the Steinberg Institute on AB 8.
“MHAC is proud to partner with Assemblymember Chu as the bill’s sponsor. MHAC works to ensure that Californians in need of mental health services have access to appropriate services at the right time,” said Zima Creason, President and CEO of MHAC. “We can reduce mental health crisis by providing prevention and early intervention services and supports. We must bring these services to the young people. Meet them where they are, in school. Although California is one of the world’s top economic leaders, we are one of the worst investors in students. If we want to see better outcomes with adults, we must better serve and support our young people.”
“The Steinberg Institute applauds Assemblymember Kansen Chu’s leadership in pursuing early access to mental health support for California’s youth,” said Adriana Ruelas, Legislative Affairs Director for the Steinberg Institute. “Our children deserve timely and equitable access to mental health care.”
Assemblymember Kansen Chu is proud to represent the 25th Assembly District, comprised of the cities of Fremont, Milpitas, Newark, Santa Clara and San Jose.