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TEXAS: Legislature passes bills to add mental health clinics/professionals to schools

June 10, Harlingen (TX) Valley Morning Star: Safer schools: Legislation arms teachers, adds mental health services Gov. Greg Abbott last Thursday, signed several bills addressing the recent rise in school shootings. While much of the attention on this legislation has been directed toward provisions allowing school teachers and staff to carry firearms, perhaps the most promising features are calls for better screening and treatment for mental health issues on school campuses. … In addition to providing for improved safety hardware such as metal detectors, reinforced doors and alarm systems, it also calls for training to better identify possible threats. Schools can now allow teachers and other personnel to carry firearms, provided they complete police-type courses that include weapons proficiency and quick-response active shooter training. SB11 also seeks to improve strategies for suicide prevention, conflict resolution and discipline management, as well as addressing the needs of students with disabilities, educational or language disadvantages and other special needs. … House Bill 18 increases mental health training for teachers, counselors and other educators to better identify and address students who might show a need for mental health services. It creates school-based mental health centers and calls for more specially trained mental health professionals on campus…. Improving mental health services, on the other hand, could help prevent violence by identifying and counseling students who have shown behavioral changes, or about whom other students have expressed concerns. If students dealing with emotional or mental issues can receive treatment, or those who have made threats or shown violent tendencies identified before they take action, school staff might never have to put their firearms training and skills to the test. …

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