Tuesday, March 11, 2014

UPDATE: House passes Steele’s bills for mental health training and awareness programs

UPDATE: March 25, 2013 Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously passes  HB 2490 Youth Mental Health First Aid bill. The bill is still awaiting consideration by the Senate Health and Human Services and Rules Committees.  

UPDATE: House passes Steele’s bills for mental health training and awareness programs

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – On Monday, the Arizona House of Representatives passed HB 2490 and HB 2543, two bills that Rep. Victoria Steele, D-Tucson (District 9), introduced which would provide funding for programs that promote mental health training.

HB 2490 appropriates $250,000 to the Department of Health Services to expand the Mental Health First Aid Program to focus on youth. The program is specifically designed to help people identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness, eating disorders and substance abuse disorders in youth.

HB 2543 gives an additional $250,000 to the Department of Education’s Office of School Safety to reimburse school districts and charter schools that facilitate mental health awareness programs. The goal is to maximize the number of school employees who can receive mental health first aid training.

Steele, a licensed professional counselor and a mental health professional, said that she hopes the extra training will help those who are showing signs of distress to get proper treatment.

“This is an opportunity to identify and respond to at-risk youth before they go into crisis,” Steele said. “This legislation will promote programs we know are already making a difference, and we can prepare more people who work with kids on a regular basis to recognize warning signs.”

Both bills passed the House and now go to the Arizona Senate for consideration.

To see the full version of HB 2490, go to:

To see the full version of HB 2543, go to:


1 comment:

  1. Very nicely done and quite an accomplishment in today's political climate - kudos to Rep. Steele - your heart is in the right place .. thank you