Sen. Smith re-introduces mental health bill

(ABC 6 News) – Minnesota Senator Tina Smith is aiming to increase access to mental health assistance by reintroducing a bill that will help children in schools.

The Mental Health Services for Students act aims to increase resources in schools as well as fight the stigmas that prevent young people from getting the mental health help.

It’s estimated that nearly 20 percent of children are currently struggle with mental health issues while only half are getting assistance. Smith says those problems can be compounded when help is not available for children at an early age.

“We don’t have the ways for people to get access to the care that they need early which we all know early are is way better for mental health or for physical health,” Smith said.

The senator worries that kids may now be bombarded by stressors from socials media site they use to unwind.

“I also worry very much about the impacts of social media on the mental health of young people. There is growing evidence that exposure to some of the negative-ness that is on social media can have a really detrimental effect on young peoples mental health,” said Smith

The bill aims to strengthen school based mental health services for students in grades K through 12 by partnering with local mental health providers