Center for American Progress

RELEASE: How Schools Can Leverage Funding From the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act To Address the Youth Mental Health Crisis
Press Release

RELEASE: How Schools Can Leverage Funding From the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act To Address the Youth Mental Health Crisis

Washington, D.C. — The passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) was a monumental step toward investing in community intervention programs to prevent gun violence, expand mental health services, and increase students’ access to out-of-school programs and community learning spaces. A new report from the Center for American Progress analyzes how schools and districts across the United States can leverage BSCA funding to address the root causes of gun violence rather than resorting to measures that harden schools. 

For years, schools have lacked the funding for proper mental health services for students and programs to prevent gun violence. This new report examines how the BSCA provides crucial funding for communities to address the safety and climate of schools.

The report delves into how this funding will help build safer and more supportive schools, including by: 

  • Growing the pipeline of school-based mental health providers by placing graduate students training to be mental health providers in high-need schools to increase the quantity and quality of school-based mental health services
  • Overcoming systemic barriers to providing health services by granting schools funding for mental health services and hiring full-time, school-based mental health providers
  • Investing in out-of-school programs to improve access to and equity of out-of-school learning opportunities

“The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act takes a critical step toward investing in more supportive and safer schools by addressing the crisis our students are facing. The mental health crisis has needed sweeping investment for far too long, and this legislation will help schools that have lacked proper mental health services invest in mental health providers,” said Roby Chatterji, associate director of K-12 Education Policy and co-author of the report. “Addressing the youth mental health crisis as well as supporting out-of-school and community learning spaces is a crucial step toward addressing the epidemic of gun violence in our schools.” 

Read the report: How To Make Schools Safer Without Additional Physical Security Measures” by Emily Katz, Roby Chatterji, and Akilah Alleyne 

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sarah Nadeau at [email protected]. 

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