State Representative Phil Young (D)
120th Connecticut House District
In February, at the beginning of the 2022 legislative session, I stood beside my legislative colleagues and committed to addressing our children’s mental and behavioral health needs. I’m pleased to share that we delivered on our commitment. On Wednesday, three transformative pieces of legislation were signed into law so that our children can access the care they need to be their best, authentic selves.
The three laws, which include SB 1, SB 2, and HB 5001, take critical steps to strengthen our state’s mental and behavioral health system, which experienced unprecedented strain during the COVID-19 pandemic. These laws, in combination with the historic budget adjustment bill, will:
- Expand 24/7 emergency mental health response and create walk-ins for mental health emergencies
- Address shortages of mental health staff in our schools by offering grants to local schools to hire social workers, counselors, and psychologists
- Provide mental health training to parents, students, and pediatricians
- Expand school-based health centers to develop mental health programming
- Create a state oversight and coordination of a state response to kids’ mental health needs
It is more important than ever for us to invest in mental health. As state legislatures across the country cut funding for these vital services, in Connecticut, we’re choosing to make critical investments in the health of our children and our state’s future.