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PA task force calls for schools "to step up mental health services"; more psychologists/nurses

Sept 2, 2018, EMS: Pa. task force stresses improving access to mental health services in schools HARRISBURG, Pa. — A task force commissioned by Gov. Wolf in the aftermath of February's mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school calls on school officials and students— and, when necessary, police—to better communicate with each other about potential threats, and urges schools to step up mental-health services, including adding psychologists and nurses…. DePasquale, citing testimony from six hearings held around the state this spring with students, educators, and other stakeholders, said in a statement that "young men and women stood before us and described their feelings of helplessness and anxiety, that they want more and better mental health services. Now, it is our job to heed those concerns, and to do everything in our power to create safer spaces for learning." Although no money or specific mandates were attached to Monday's report, Wolf noted that the 2018-19 state budget included a $60 million initiative to issue grants to districts across the state—as determined by a new state committee—that would help pay for new safety measures, such as updating buildings, training teachers, or establishing community violence-prevention programs….

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