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Mental Health

The Issue: Mental Health in Education

Colorado’s schools are not equipped to be the sole provider of mental health support for students, though they often function as just that, particularly in our most under-resourced neighborhoods.

In the majority of our schools, current mental health support is inadequate: if schools have counselors, their caseloads are way too large. Given the educator shortage, school psychologists and counselors often pull double-duty and are asked to do testing or other activities with students.

Mental health supports are not just needed by students, but for education professionals as well.

What We’re Doing to Support Mental Health in Education

We call on elected officials to join us in fighting for mental health support for educators and students. One of our legislative priorities this year is to ensure that Governor Polis’ new Office of School Safety receives continued input from educators, and prioritizes student and educator mental health supports and resources.

Other priorities of advocacy for the 2023 legislative session include:

  • Including suicide prevention, alertness, intervention and postvention programs in options for educator preparation programs, licensure and renewal as well as professional development for all employees.
  • Offering training for educators and school staff in bullying prevention, school safety, cultural proficiency, positive behavioral supports and appropriate classroom management.
  • Meeting the developmental needs of all students by increasing the presence of comprehensive elementary and secondary school counseling and other pupil services, including school psychologists, counselors and social workers and school-based student services.
  • Creating evidence based programs and training, including around suicide and bullying prevention, school safety, cultural proficiency, positive behavioral supports and appropriate classroom management.

Learn more about our work towards ending gun violence on our legislative advocacy webpage.