Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, Students, and Parents Call for Increased Access to School Mental Health Resources

SACRAMENTO — The focus of the day on April 26 was rallying for increased access to mental health resources at schools. Mission accomplished.

Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella, welcomed student activists, parents, and mental health professionals to the State Capitol for the rally. Advocates were organized by Aspire Public Schools gathered in support of Garcia’s AB 1479, school mental health legislation, which successfully passed the Assembly Committee on Education later that afternoon.

“The youth mental health crisis is real, and it impacts our entire community every single day. We need to direct greater resources toward prevention and to ensure equitable access to social-emotional, behavioral, and mental health resources directly at our school sites,” Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia said in a statement. “We are grateful for all the local school districts who have already submitted letters of support, our partnership with Aspire Public Schools, and for all the students and parents advocating for this important issue.”

AB 1479 aims to provide equitable access to preventative social-emotional, behavioral, and mental health support for all students and parents at school sites across the state. It would allow school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools to apply for a streamlined Department of Education grants towards the delivery of preventative mental health support by hiring additional mental health counselors or subcontracting with community-based organizations.

“We need healthy schools, healthy teachers, healthy students so our communities can be strong. Schools are a safe haven for many students, and this is what they depend on,” said Michelle Rivas, a parent advocate who traveled to Sacramento to be a voice for all students and parents.

“The investment in our student’s mental health will have long-term benefits. Improved academic performance, higher graduation rates, and stronger, more resilient students not only now but for their future.”

Garcia represents California’s 36th Assembly District, which comprises of Imperial County and cities and communities in Riverside County and San Bernardino County.


Image Sources

  • School Mental Health Resources Rally: Assemblymember Garcia's office