as amended, O'Donnell. Pupil mental health:
begin delete early identification and referral:end delete model referral begin delete protocol.end delete
Existing law provides that school districts and county offices of education are responsible for the overall development of a comprehensive school safety plan for each of their constituent schools, and encourages school safety plans to include clear guidelines for the roles and responsibilities of certain parties with school-related health and safety responsibilities, as specified.
This bill would require the State Department of Education
begin delete and a county office of education designated by the departmentend delete to begin delete jointlyend delete develop begin delete aend delete model referral begin delete protocol,end delete as provided, for addressing pupil mental health concerns. The bill would require the department begin delete and designated
county office of educationend delete to consult with begin delete county offices of education and school districts that participated as regional leaders in a statewide pupil mental health initiative supported by the California Mental Health Services Authority, to be selected jointly by the department and designated county office of education.end delete The bill would also state various findings and declarations of the Legislature relating
to pupil mental health.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
(a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the
3(1) Research points to a strong connection between mental
4wellness and academic achievement.
5(2) Research demonstrates that early detection and treatment of
6mental illness improves attendance, behavior, and academic
8(3) It is estimated that 20 percent of children have mental health
9issues, 80 percent of whom are estimated to be undiagnosed and
10untreated. The lack of attention to a child’s mental health has
11significant effects on his or her school achievement and life
13(4) Mental health challenges disproportionately impact pupils
14who face stressors such as violence, trauma, and poverty.
15(5) California’s educators report their lack of preparedness in
16addressing pupil mental health challenges as a major barrier to
17instruction. Most educators and staff lack training to identify pupils
18who may be in need of support and to make referrals, as
19appropriate, to help pupils overcome and manage mental health
20issues and succeed in school.
21 25(6)end delete
P3 1 Several initiatives are underway to improve the early
2identification and referral of pupils for help with mental health
3challenges. These include the California County Superintendents
4Educational Services Association’s K-12 Student Mental Health
5Initiative, funded by the California Mental Health Services
6Authority; the federally funded
begin delete Now is the Time
7Wellness and Resilience in Education (AWARE) State Educational
8Agency grant programend delete
9Department of Education; Training Educators through Recognition
10and Identification Strategies (TETRIS); the Eliminating Barriers
11to Learning (EBL) project administered by the State Department
12of Education and funded by the California Mental Health Services
13Authority; and the Student Mental Health Policy Workgroup
14established by the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the
15California Mental Health Services Authority.
36 16(7)end delete
17 In spite of these efforts, no model referral protocol exists to
18guide schools and local educational agencies in appropriate and
19timely intervention for pupil mental health concerns.
25(b) It is therefore the intent of the Legislature to direct the
begin delete aend delete model, evidence-based referral begin delete protocolend delete
27 for addressing pupil mental health concerns that may be voluntarily
28used by schoolsites, school districts, county offices of education,
29charter schools, and teacher and administrator preparation
Section 33319.6 is added to the Education Code, to
(a) For purposes of this section, the following terms
34have the following meanings:
35(1) “Designated county office of education” means a county
36office of education selected by the department that has experience
37in administering a statewide pupil mental health initiative supported
38by the California Mental Health Services Authority.
39(2) “Participating local educational agency” means a county
40office of education or school district selected jointly by the
P4 1department and designated county office of education that has
2participated as a regional leader in a statewide pupil mental health
3initiative supported by the California Mental Health Services
4Authority. The department and designated county office of
5education shall ensure that participating local educational agencies
6selected for purposes of this section reflect the geographic and
7socioeconomic diversity of the state.
8(b) The department and designated county office of education
9shall jointly, in consultation with participating local educational
10agencies, current classroom teachers, and current schoolsite
11classified staff, develop a model referral protocol for addressing
12pupil mental health concerns. The protocol may be used, on a
13voluntary basis, by schoolsites, school districts, county offices of
14education, charter schools, and by teacher and administrator
15preparation programs operated by institutions of higher education.
16The protocol shall do all of the following:
17(1) Address the referral by school staff of pupils with mental
18health concerns. The protocol may, at the discretion of the
19department and designated county office of education, include the
20continuum: from prevention, to identification, to referral for
22(2) Reflect a multitiered system of support processes.
5(3) Be adaptable to varied local service arrangements for mental
7(4) Reflect evidence-based and culturally appropriate approaches
8to pupil mental health referral.
9(5) Address the inclusion of parents and guardians in the referral
11(6) Be written to ensure clarity and ease of use by certificated
12and classified school employees.
13(7) Reflect differentiated referral processes for pupils with
14disabilities and other populations for whom the referral process
15may be distinct.
10 21(8)end delete
22 Be consistent with state activities conducted by the
23department in the administration of federally funded mental health
25(c) The designated county office of education acting jointly with
26the department shall be selected by the department and shall have
27experience in administering a statewide pupil mental health
28initiative supported by the California Mental Health Services
30(d) The department and designated county office of education
31are encouraged to consult with the California Mental Health
32Services Authority, representatives of county mental health
33programs, and the Student Mental Health Policy Workgroup in
34the development of this protocol.
23 35(e)end delete
36 The department shall post the model referral
begin delete protocolend delete
37 on its Internet Web site so that
begin delete itend delete may be accessed
38and used by
begin delete localend delete educational begin delete agencies and charter schools.end delete
26 40(f)end delete
P6 1 This section is contingent upon funds being appropriated
2for its purpose to
begin delete eitherend delete the department begin delete or the designated county in the annual Budget Act or other legislation,
3office of educationend delete
begin delete otherend delete state, federal, or private funds being allocated for this
30 6(g)end delete
7 The model referral
begin delete protocolend delete shall be completed
8and made available within
begin delete one yearend delete of the date funds
9are received to implement this section.