FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                       
January 13, 2020
CONTACT: Rep. Jim Steineke                                                                            
(608) 266-2418

What Folks are Saying: School-Based Mental Health is a Game-Changer

MADISON – The Assembly Committee on Mental Health held a committee vote last week, where it unanimously approved a School-Based Mental Health Pilot Program bill, authored by Representative Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna), Senator Roger Roth (R-Appleton), and Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills).

The bill, which builds off the successful Child Psychiatry Consultation Program, would allow school personnel to receive assistance from trained child psychiatrists via a hotline, along with regular training opportunities. Following last week’s bipartisan committee vote, here’s what folks are saying about the legislation that gives schools and educators the tools they need to face the student mental health challenges school districts see every day:

“It’s a cost-effective way to try to deliver additional resources to staff inside the schools, so they feel better prepared to deal with some of these issues as they present themselves in the classroom and in the schools.”

– Representative Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna)

“The CPCP [Child Psychiatry Consultation Program] model could provide our student services staff with that timely access to a child psychiatrist. That psychiatrist could provide critical insights and resources to support a wraparound type of approach, especially in the most complex cases that we face.”

Dr. Judith Baseman, Appleton Area School District Superintendent

“MCW conducted a needs assessment survey of the school districts within the county. We received over 1,500 survey responses from a wide range of school personnel. Not surprisingly, the surveys indicated that mental health challenges are significant concerns within the schools.”

Nathan Berken, Medical College of Wisconsin

“This pilot will help provide school-based mental health consultations, education, resources, and in-depth case consultations to school districts located in Outagamie County.”

Dr. Jon Lehrmann, Medical College of Wisconsin

“I will say no matter what school district you talk to, they’re concerned about kids’ mental health. And whether that mental health shows up in behaviors that are destructive like we’ve seen this past week or any other way, we really need to double down on that.”

Governor Tony Evers

“Our kids need our continued support. And these are the kids that are in all of the data points that I have shared and that Dr. Lehrmann has shared. These are the kids that will benefit from a school-based CPCP-like programming.”

Mark Duerwaechter, Kaukauana Area School District Superintendent

“I greatly appreciate the fact that for once there’s some legislation that creates an alpha test, a small scale opportunity to demonstrate the success of an intervention like this for the school systems in the state of Wisconsin, and then the ability for us to come back and provide services and replicate those across the region and the state.”

Ted Neitzke, CESA 6

“We see the CPCP process as being a really critical part of a continuum of supports and services that we provide. It’s not the only answer, but it’s a really important piece of that continuum...”

Dr. Judith Baseman, Appleton Area School District Superintendent

“It is crucial that our schools can be a ground to deliver mental health services to youth. Assembly Bill 644 is an innovative solution to train school staff, reduce stigmas surrounding mental health, and help students succeed in school.”

Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills)

“We're one step closer to getting a school-based mental health program in Outagamie County! This program would provide school personnel and students with immediate access to mental health services operated by the Medical College of Wisconsin.”

State Senator Roger Roth (R-Appleton)

“Great to see my friend @RepSteineke working to expand mental health resources for students and equip our teachers and schools with the tools they need to address this matter. Nice work Jim!”

Congressman Mike Gallagher (R-Green Bay)

“This legislation continues on the success of the CPCP, and if successful, would hopefully be replicable in school districts across the state.”

Representative Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna)