“Mental health is no different from physical health, and students with mental illnesses need to receive adequate support,” Pappas said. “We need to make sure our educators, administrators and school faculty have the information and resources they need to best serve the educational needs of our community’s youth.”
Pappas voted to pass Senate Bill 1731, which requires all licensed school personnel and administrators who work with students in K-12 to be competently trained on how to identify and respond to various mental health issues. The training will help them identify warning signs of mental illness and suicidal behavior in young people, as well as appropriate intervention and referral techniques. Pappas knows that providing support early in a person’s life can help them overcome the challenges that often come with a mental illness.
“Grappling with a serious mental health issue or substance abuse issue can be overwhelming, and no young person should feel like they’re alone,” said Pappas. “To build a stronger Illinois, we need to ensure that our educators are given the knowledge and tools they need to help young people succeed in school.”