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UPDATE: Governor signs student mental health bill into law

Mental well being can be utilized as an excused absence from elegance

Update from May 12, 2022:

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Governor Andy Beshear on Thursday signed House Bill 44 into regulation right through a rite on the State Capitol in Frankfort.

The regulation permits psychological well being for use as an excused absence from elegance.

Gov. Beshear was once joined on the signing rite through Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman and scholars.

“While we’re excited about House Bill 44, which will allow the school districts to draft an attendance policy that will allow mental health as an excused absence, we want to go further.  We want to allow six excused mental days days per school year,” stated Marion County High School pupil Charlie Browning.

Part of the rite integrated suggestions shared through scholars on how the state can assist the ones affected by psychological well being problems.

 

Original tale underneath from January 18, 2022:

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Kentucky House of Representatives desires public college scholars to grasp their psychological well being issues.

House Bill 44 permits absences for psychological well being causes to qualify as an excused absence. The bipartisan measure cleared the House ground through a unanimous vote on Tuesday.

Rep. Bobby McCool, R-Van Lear, and Rep. Lisa Willner, D-Louisville, are the principle sponsors of HB 44. The pair labored at the invoice with 3 highschool scholars over the summer time.

“It’s important because it brings mental health issues to the level of conversation without fear of any type of stigma,” McCool stated at the House ground.

Both McCool and Willner described the invoice as a easy alternate to present statute.

“(HB 44) requires local school districts to include in their attendance policies provisions for excused absences for student mental or behavioral health status,” Willner stated. “It doesn’t add extra days for absences, but simply makes it explicit that mental health is health.”

According to Willner, she and McCool have now not encountered any opposition to the invoice. She added that it has the strengthen of faculty counselors, psychologists, trainer teams and different psychological well being and training similar teams within the Commonwealth.

Both McCool and Willner hope the invoice is helping cut back the stigma of psychological well being, and that it we could Kentucky’s scholars know that their elected representatives care about them and their psychological well being.

Their law, which will require colleges to acknowledge psychological well being as a explanation why for an excused absence, was once beneficial closing 12 months through highschool scholars inside their respective communities — Cole Butcher of Johnson County and Kameron Julian of Jefferson County – in addition to Amira Bowman of Marion County.

“I’m so proud of the students from across Kentucky who brought the idea forward to allow excused absences for student mental health days. This is their bill, and it makes explicit that mental health is health. I think that’s one of the important lessons the pandemic has taught us,” Willner stated.

“This bill represents one important step in supporting student mental health, but there’s more work to be done. I hope that the passage of HB 44 in the House today sends a clear message to Kentucky students that their elected representatives are listening to them, and that we care about them and their well-being.”

 The House voted 94-0 to approve HB 44. It will now cross to the Senate for attention.




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