The House on Thursday passed a bill to expand access to mental health services in schools that garnered just one Republican vote, despite the mental illness party’s relentless scapegoating for the issues in the USA.
The Mental Health Matters Act past 220 against 205 on a majority partisan vote, the 205 “no” votes coming from the Republicans. Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (Pennsylvania) voted the only Republican “yes”.
The law project, introduced by Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-California) and supported by the White House, would be award grants for schools to hire more mental health experts and expand their mental health services, especially schools in high-needs areas. It would also provide mental health protections adults with private health insurance and children and staff of Head Start programs, which aim to serve low-income children from birth to age 5.
“Educators have been forced to play an outsized role in supporting and addressing the mental health needs of students, which has led to an increase in depression and trauma among educators, their students, families and the community” , DeSaulnier said of the need for his bill, by The hill. “However, our schools lack the specialist staff needed to respond to the increased prevalence and complexity of student mental health needs.
Representative Virginia Foxx (R-North Carolina) challenged part of the bill that punishes employers when employees are denied mental health and addiction benefits and said “the country would be better off without” the bill of law.
experts said that children’s mental health is in crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on children’s mental health, whether through trauma, loss, or otherwise, leading to a corresponding increase in mental health crises in children, according to the research. Pediatric mental health professionals say legislation to permanently increase resources for children’s mental health is badly needed.
Democrats condemned Republicans for voting against the bill. “This afternoon we voted to create more mental health services in schools and 99.5% of Republicans voted no and told the kids to go to hell,” Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr wrote ( D-New Jersey). on Twitter.
Others underline that Republicans have spent months, if not years, scapegoating mental health issues as a catch-all for issues like the mass shootings — which, in effect, are often motivated by far-right radicalization and white supremacist ideology. Indeed, Republicans often dig into supposed concerns about mental health in order to distract from other issues.
After the elementary school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, Republicans and the far-right were quick to spread misinformation online about the shooter, blaming the problem on groups they wanted to demonize, including trans people. , people with mental illnesses and the Democratic Party.
“Well, it’s just tragic what happened there. We learn something new every day about how we can improve,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California). FoxNews after shooting. He said there should be an influx of funds to “focus on mental health” in response to the shooting. McCarthy voted against the bill on Thursday.
In reality, Republicans who come out in favor of mental health funding in response to the horrific mass shootings are likely bracing for the coming attempts to reduce gun ownershipcurb the power of gun lobbyand, in the case of Uvalde, examine the police for failure to prevent or act on the shot.
In other words, political commentators have noted that mental health issues act like a shiny object for Republicans to wave at, a political convenience that allows the party to continue to expand and perpetuate the roots of violence and antipathy.
For example, Republicans have repeatedly suggested that school closures and remote learning have been the real blight on children’s mental health during the pandemic. But the deaths of teachers and caregivers likely would have resulted from early school reopenings would almost certainly have had an equal if not greater toll on children’s mental health.