SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In an effort to help address bullying and violence in schools, state Rep. John Connor, D-Lockport, introduced legislation requiring the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to make mental health resources readily available to parents and school officials.
“In order to make sure our students are happy and healthy in school, we must ensure that our teachers, school counselors and other school personnel have the tools they need to help students that may be struggling,” Connor said. “We’ve seen too many tragedies occur in schools as a result of mental illness and bullying, and I hope that this legislation will help address those issues and maintain a safe learning environment for students.”
Connor’s legislation would require IDPH to create and maintain an online database and resource page containing mental health resources specifically geared towards teachers, parents, and school counselors and social workers. Connor aims to help connect educators and parents with mental health resources related to bullying and school shootings, as well as encourage information sharing between school security personnel and administrators.
This measure is part of Connor’s ongoing effort to keep students safe by addressing violence and mental health issues in schools. In addition to introducing this legislation, Connor also supported House Bill 2925, which requires the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board to create or approve a training program for school resource officers that covers youth mental health, conflict resolution and child and adolescent psychology.
“The mental and emotional well-being of our students is equally as important as their physical safety,” Connor said. “It’s important to take these extra steps to ensure teachers and parents have the necessary resources to keep students healthy and safe.”