NABITA Legislative Policy Corner: STAND-UP Act and BIG Act

Recently, NABITA joined with over 45 mental health and school climate organizations, including Sandy Hook Promise, American Counseling Association, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, The National Alliance on Mental Illness, and The Trevor Project to urge Congress to pass S.1543 – STANDUP Act of 2021 – a comprehensive mental health bill that would add new requirements to an existing grant program, Project Aware, a fundamental program operated within SAMSHA. These new requirements would advise states, schools, and tribes to expand access to evidence-based suicide prevention training for every 6th-12th grade student, teaching them how to recognize the warning signs of self-harm and methods on how to seek help for themselves and others. As we know all too well, suicide rates have skyrocketed during the pandemic, and it is critical Congress is providing schools with high-quality mental health screening and prevention training resources. The STAND-UP Act, which passed the House by a vote of 349-74 earlier this year and is posed to be brought to a vote on the Senate floor by the end of the year, would bring much needed funding and save many lives.

As a friendly reminder, NABITA is still encouraging members to reach out to their home state senators and ask that they support the BIG Act, S. 1383. Your voice matters to members of Congress and can make a real difference! For your convenience, NABITA has created a member activation page with a sample email draft and all the information you need to reach out to your senator.

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