Rep. Wendi Thomas (R-Bucks) will host a hearing about how schools can better identify and treat kids with mental health needs 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, at the Washington Crossing United Methodist Church, 1895 Wrightstown Road in Washington Crossing.
The hearing, is co-hosted by Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia).
Thomas and Kenyatta crafted House Bill 1622, also known as Phillip’s Law, after an 11-year-old boy in Rep. Kenyatta’s district was bullied in school and took his life after he was unable to reach the school’s guidance counselor that fateful day. Unfortunately, the counselor was dealing with an influx of students and could not help Phillip before the end of the day.
“The Pennridge School District released the results of an anonymous survey of its students that revealed 40 students from the class of 2020 had attempted suicide one or more times in the previous years,” Thomas said. “They also reported an increase in suicide attempts from 3 percent to 4 percent among the district’s sixth-graders.”
“Mental health is an issue that does not discriminate,” Thomas said. “It affects all ages, races, genders and classes. Chances are that each of us knows an individual who has struggled with mental health issues, and we all hope that those close to us would be able to get the necessary assistance in times of desperation. Unfortunately, as many as 60 percent of students do not receive the treatment they need due to stigma and lack of access to services.”