The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) has a bill tracker on it’s website, which can be directly accessed at:
While there are many pieces of legislation under review covering an array of topics, we would like to highlight bills that address student mental health issues.
According to the Utah Department of Health, suicide rates among youth age 10-17 have soared, “growing at an average annual rate of almost four times faster than the rest of the nation”. This is a serious health concern among Utah’s children. Providing programs in schools to address mental health issues is one way of addressing this issue.
House Bill 264, Elementary School Counselor Program, authorizes the State Board of Education (board) to award grants to local
Education agencies to provide targeted school-based mental health supports in elementary schools; authorizes the board to make rules for grant applications and awards; and requires a local education agency that receives a grant to submit an annual report to the board.
Read the bill here (amended January 29th): https://le.utah.gov/~2018/bills/hbillamd/HB0264.pdf
House Bill 308 requires the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health to create a Telehealth mental health pilot project grant program for LEAs. The bill aims to provide increased access to students in underserved areas around the state, where it is often difficult to access services. The bill can be viewed here: https://le.utah.gov/~2018/bills/hbillint/HB0308.pdf
If you want to stay up to date on Utah Legislative activity regarding education, The USBE has an entire page dedicated to the 2018 Utah Legislative session which can be viewed at https://schools.utah.gov/policy/legislativesession.