|During a press conference showcasing a package of mental health bills, Rep. Judy Ward (R-Blair) spoke about a bill she is co-sponsoring with Rep. Dan Miller (D-Mt. Lebanon) that would provide early intervention depression screening for school students in order to identify and treat any depression issues early and improve a child’s overall health.
HARRISBURG – Rep. Judy Ward (R-Blair) has teamed up with Rep. Dan Miller (D-Mt. Lebanon) to craft legislation that would provide early intervention depression screening for school students in order to identify and treat any depression issues early and improve a child’s overall health.
“Mental health is a critical component of an individual’s well-being,” said Ward. “Currently, schools require other health screenings, such as medical and dental exams, vision and hearing screenings, scoliosis screening, and a series of immunizations, to name a few. I think the addition of a mental health screening to identify depression, when we know how many people today are afflicted with mental health issues, is a wise addition to every child’s health care.”
House Bill 2095
would offer depression screenings for all sixth- and 11th-graders. Parents would have the ability to have their child opt out of the screening. All test results would be shared with the parents, but would not be shared with the school.
To view Ward’s comments on House Bill 2095 during the press conference, go to here
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 20 percent of youth ages 13 through 18 live with a brain health condition that can drastically affect their emotional, psychological and social well-being. Lack of proper diagnosis and treatment can result in serious risk-taking behaviors such as dropping out of school, substance abuse or self-medication, harm to oneself, or in very rare cases, harm to others.
House Bill 2095 has been referred to the House Education Committee.
Representative Judy Ward
80th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tricia Lehman