On Thursday, May 15, AFSP Capital Region New York Area Director Laura Marx joined Congressman Paul Tonko; Principal at Delaware Community School Thomas Giglio; Albany City School District Superintendent Dr. Vanden Wyngaard; and Delaware Community School Pyschologist Dixie Lopez at the Delaware Community School library in Albany, New York to discuss comprehensive mental health legislation introduced last week, the Strengthening Mental Health In Our Communities Act, that would help prevent suicide and mental health crises by ensuring more students have access to mental health services in their community and at school.
Speakers shared their experiences working with students, addressed specific areas they felt could improve mental health in schools and the need for a greater commitment to providing mental health care resources for our schools. Congressman Tonko then led a brief Q&A session with reporters and visited classrooms to speak directly with students.
Marx stated, “With the introduction of “The Strengthening Mental Health in Our Communities Act” we now have one of the most comprehensive mental health packages that has been introduced on Capitol Hill in over 50 years when President Kennedy signed into law the Community Mental Health Centers Act in 1963.”
Moving forward, AFSP will be urging all members of the House to work together with Congressman Tonko to find a common ground on proposed mental health legislation to ensure that Americans can get the mental health services and programs that they need and deserve.