SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – To provide schools and students with more resources to address mental health issues that arise in the classroom, state Rep. Camille Y. Lilly, D-Chicago, helped pass legislation that is now heading to the governor’s desk.
“Youth is a critical stage of development for young people as they begin to experience different feelings, and it can be difficult to process them for the first time,” Lilly said. “Students struggle with a diagnosed or undiagnosed mental illness that makes these challenges even more difficult to address and overcome. Students need to have well-trained counselors and teachers who are prepared to help guide their students toward an understanding on how to navigate their feelings and emotions and if necessary, where and when to seek outside help.”
Lilly’s bills seek to give teachers and schools more resources to help students process and express their emotions. Lilly’s House Bill 4657 creates the Emotional Intelligence and Social and Emotional Learning Task Force to develop age-appropriate curriculum and guidelines to teach students how to process difficult experiences. Her other measure, House Bill 4658, expands teacher training to provide them with techniques to identify warning signs of mental illness and suicide and to help students in elementary and high school through emotionally distressing times.
“School shootings and other traumatizing events makes our students question a lot of what’s going on and they may not know who they can turn to in their time of need, or worse, they may not feel comfortable enough to speak with someone who is qualified to help them,” Lilly said. “All of our schools should have the resources and tools to teach our students how to understand their feelings and develop productive coping skills, and this task force is a good place for us to start this important process.”
Visit Rep Lilly’s website
270-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 558-1054 FAX
6937 W. North Ave.,
Oak Park, IL 60302