Texas - Professional Development for Mental Health: Staff Qualifications and Professional Development

Area: 
Staff Qualifications And Professional Development
Policy Type: 
Statute
Summary: 

State law requires districts to provide professional development for school personnel on youth mental health.

Texas Statutes Health and Safety Code 1001.203 Grants for Training Certain University Employees, School District Employees, and School Resource Officers in Mental Health First Aid

(a)  To the extent funds are appropriated to the department for that purpose, the department shall make grants to local mental health authorities to provide an approved mental health first aid training program, administered by mental health first aid trainers, at no cost to university employees, school district employees, and school resource officers.

(b)  [Repealed by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., ch. 836 (S.B. 133), § 8(2), effective June 17, 2015.]
(c)  The department shall grant $100 to a local mental health authority for each university employee, school district employee, or school resource officer who successfully completes a mental health first aid training program provided by the authority under this section.

(d)  A mental health first aid training program provided by a local mental health authority under this section must:

  • (1)  be conducted by a person trained as a mental health first aid trainer;

  • (2)  provide participants with the skills necessary to help an individual experiencing a mental health crisis until the individual is able to obtain appropriate professional care; and

  • (3)  include:

    • (A)  instruction in a five-step strategy for helping an individual experiencing a mental health crisis, including assessing risk, listening respectfully to and supporting the individual, and identifying professional help and other supports for the individual;

    • (B)  an introduction to the risk factors and warning signs for mental illness and substance abuse problems;

    • (C)  experiential activities to increase participants' understanding of the impact of mental illness on individuals and families; and

    • (D)  a presentation of evidence-supported treatment and self-help strategies.
      (e)  A local mental health authority may contract with a regional education service center to provide a mental health first aid training program to university employees, school district employees, and school resource officers under this section.

(f)  Two or more local mental health authorities may collaborate and share resources to develop and operate a mental health first aid training program under this section.


Texas Statutes Health and Safety Code 161.325 Mental Health Promotion and Intervention, Substance Abuse Prevention and Intervention, and Suicide Prevention

(a-3) For purposes of Subsection (a-1), “school climate” means the quality and character of school life, including interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures, as experienced by students enrolled in the school district, parents of those students, and personnel employed by the district.

(b) The suicide prevention programs on the list must include components that provide for training counselors, teachers, nurses, administrators, and other staff, as well as law enforcement officers and social workers who regularly interact with students, to:

  • (1) recognize students at risk of committing suicide, including students who are or may be the victims of or who engage in bullying;

  • (2) recognize students displaying early warning signs and a possible need for early mental health or substance abuse intervention, which warning signs may include declining academic performance, depression, anxiety, isolation, unexplained changes in sleep or eating habits, and destructive behavior toward self and others; and

  • (3) intervene effectively with students described by Subdivision (1) or (2) by providing notice and referral to a parent or guardian so appropriate action, such as seeking mental health or substance abuse services, may be taken by a parent or guardian.

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