In 2003 President Bush’s created the, New Freedom Commission on Mental Health which outlines a plan to move forward in increasing early intervention and screening for children and adolescents. The report suggests that no one body or organization is charge of mental health care of children and adolescents. However schools and teachers are in the best position to provide support to young people because of the consistent exposure teachers have with their students. The report also suggests that because one’s mental health is so tightly intertwined with one’s educational success, that teachers play a vital role in identifying warning signs and linking students to services (Hogan et al., 2003, p. 58). These school based services have the potential to reach more vulnerable and potentially underserved populations with better opportunities to engage parents and the community in services. In order to provide optimum services, care, and proper interventions in schools things like stigma attached to receiving mental health services need to be addressed as well for students to feel comfortable obtaining care. The other necessity is also providing the teachers and counselors in schools the proper training and support based on evidenced based practices (Mills et al. 2006, p.155).
In 2010, the President Obama announced that the Affordable Care Act would extend its coverage to preventative mental health care coverage. This coverage would include depression screenings for adults and behavioral screenings for children and adolescents. In addition to this the President announced that the 2014 federal budget would include $130 million dedicated to aiding teachers in identifying the signs and risk factors of mental illness in their students, and refer them to services and programs dedicated to prevent the develop of mental illness and promote their mental health (Health and Human Services, 2013). Many of these programs have been created as a part of an initiative to gather more data and research on intervention methods for preventing mental illness and promoting mental health focusing on children and adolescent due to that they are the most at risk do to environment and social factors but also have the ability to prevent a long term mental illness given proper intervention.
II. State Level
Currently California has one of the best and long running state wide mental health promotion and mental illness prevention legislative movements which began in the 1990s. The California Mental Health Services Act (proposition 63) was passed by the state senate in 2004 (Mental Health Services Act, 2012, p.20). It’s funding comes from both state and federal funds, and over half of those services must be spent on children’s services. In order to receive funds each county must come up with a three year plan on how they will use these funds in mental health services (Mental Health Services Act, 2012, p. 10). In order to assure that the Proposition 63 is held accountable for...