Kelly Vaillancourt, PhD, NCSP
Director of Government Relations, National Association of School Psychologists
Recently on Care for Your Mind, Dr. Anne Marie Albano contended that schools are the right place for kids to get treatment for social anxiety disorder. Today, Kelly Vaillancourt of the National Association of School Psychologists offers an easy way for you to advocate for school-based psychological services.
In order to make meaningful and substantial progress toward increasing access to comprehensive mental health services, we must call upon our local, state, and federal policy makers to act. We need to
- educate legislators and government officials about evidence-based policies and practices
- encourage them to allocate the necessary funding to ensure these practices are in places in our schools and communities.
The National Association of School Psychologists is proud to be a partner in this effort. NASP represents over 25,000 school psychologists who work with students, educators, administrators, and families to support the academic achievement, positive behavior, and mental health of all students, especially those who struggle with barriers to learning. Part of our mission includes advocating for public policies that support increased access to school-employed mental health professionals (e.g school psychologists, school social workers, and school counselors) who can provide a full continuum of mental health services to students, as well as collaborate with community professionals who help support students with the most significant mental health needs.
Your voice is critical in helping ensure that all children, youth, and adults have access to the mental and behavioral health services they need and there are many quick and easy ways that you can be an effective advocate. One is to visit the NASP Advocacy Action Center to send letters to your elected officials in Congress, asking them to support public policies and funding for improved access to school based mental health services. These letters are pre-written, but can be edited by you. In less than one minute, you can make your voice heard on Capitol Hill.
- How can we increase the availability of comprehensive school psychological services?
- What messages do you think will be most effective in getting legislators to increase funding for school-based psychological services?
- In what ways have you found school-based psychological services helpful for students you know?