CBHC Supports Bill to Expand Mental Health Training in Schools

On Thursday, February 6, 2020, Frank Cornelia, Deputy Director and Chief Strategy Officer of the Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council spoke on behalf of Colorado State Senate Bill 20-001 at a press conference. The bill requires the department of education to offer a train the trainer program designed to improve school culture, promote youth behavioral and mental health, and prepare attendees to teach a youth behavioral and mental health training course.

After the press conference, testimony began on the bill. It passed through the Senate Education Committee by a vote of 5-0. The bill now moves on to Appropriations.

View Frank Cornelia's remarks HERE.

The bill ensures that the department must make the program available to employees of a school district, charter school, or board of cooperative services. A local education provider and its employees are not required to participate in the program. The department may enter into an agreement with an organization to provide the program. The department is required to annually evaluate the effectiveness of the program. The general assembly is required to annually appropriate up to $1 million for the program.

The program must include evidence-based instruction on, and prepare an attendee to teach a youth behavioral and mental health training course that includes, any of the following subjects:

  • Using trauma-informed approaches to improve overall school climate and culture;
  • Identifying behavioral and mental health challenges and substance use disorders;
  • Restorative practices for addressing youth behavioral and mental health challenges;
  • Improving youth social and emotional health;
  • Bullying prevention and intervention strategies;
  • Encouraging positive bystander behavior;
  • Best practices for providing assistance in noncrisis situations;
  • De-escalation of crisis situations; or
  • Identifying and accessing available behavioral and mental health resources and substance use disorder support services and treatment.Watch news stories covering this bill:FOX 31