CARPENTERSVILLE, Ill. – In efforts to increase mental health awareness among children and teens, state Rep. Suzanne Ness, D-Crystal Lake, is highlighting her support of several measures in the Illinois General Assembly that will increase access to mental health services in schools.
“People of all ages experience issues with their mental health and unfortunately many start to experience these issues at a young age,” said Ness. “With the added stressors caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that young people know that they are not alone in their mental health struggles. Their thoughts and feelings are valid and it’s important that they are made aware of the resources that are available to them.”
Ness is highlighting her support for several mental health initiatives that recently passed out of the Illinois House of Representatives, including House Bill 576, which would allow students to take mental health days, expanding excused school absences to include mental or behavioral health. She also supported House Joint Resolution 1, which urges Illinois schools to provide education for all students in grades six to 12 on how to identify, understand and respond to signs of addictions and mental illnesses, as well as provide instruction for how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.
“Since becoming a state representative, I have made it a top priority to ensure that adolescents and teens have access to quality mental health services and to advocate for greater awareness of these issues,” said Ness. “I am proud to support legislation that aims to do just that and will continue to work hard on behalf of the young people throughout the state of Illinois.”