Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo’s Legislation to support Mental Health Awareness for Middle and High School Students Becomes Law

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  • Francisco Quintana
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Wendy Carrillo (AD-51)

 

SACRAMENTO, CA – Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo celebrated the signing of AB 748, which empowers students to advocate for themselves, by making information about common mental health symptoms and places to seek help more accessible. The law requires California’s Middle and High Schools to display mental health posters with information related to symptoms, trauma, coping and resources available on campus and helps destigmatize mental health amongst young people.  

“The Biannual California Healthy Kids Survey from the Department of Health Care Services and the Department of Education has noted a steady rise in depression and anxiety among young people in the last several years,” said Assemblywoman Carrillo. “The worsening of this crisis is undeniable, and I am happy to see this critical piece of legislation signed by the Governor. AB 748 will ensure that access to mental health resources are readily available to students, and help them recognize what to do when they are in need.” 

On average, 10 years take place between one first experiencing adverse mental health symptoms and the time at which they seek help. My goal is to reduce that number to zero; we cannot continue to allow our kids to endure their most vulnerable moments alone and without proper care. The worsening of this crisis is undeniable, and I am happy to see this critical piece of legislation signed by the Governor. AB 748 will ensure that access to mental health resources are readily available to students, and help them recognize what to do when they are in need.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics have noted that common mental health issues first emerge in adolescence, but young people often don't seek help until much later because they don't recognize the symptoms or don't know what resources exist. Per their studies, emotional and behavioral health challenges were of growing concern before the COVID-19 pandemic, and the public health emergency has only exacerbated these challenges. 

"Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, where students were increasingly disconnected from their teachers and peers, millions of California students are struggling with their mental health in isolation,” said Jason Chen, Governmental Affairs Policy Director for the California Association of Student Councils. 

“Without regular interaction with staff, counselors, and friends as if things were a normal, in-person school year, students' declining mental health is unseen, unidentified, and untreated. Students need to know the basics of understanding their mental health and be informed of the avenues to cope and seek help on their own. “AB 748, written by student leaders from the California Association of Student Councils, ensures that all students have the resources they need to thrive in school." 

The full text of the bill can be found here: AB-748 (ca.gov)

Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo was elected as the representative of the 51st Assembly District in December of 2017. She is currently the Chair of Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration, and a member of the Assembly Committees on Appropriations, Budget, Health, Housing and Community Development, and Utilities and Energy. 

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