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Governor Walz, Lieutenant Governor Flanagan Highlight Need for Increased Student Mental Health Resources

The Walz-Flanagan Budget to Move Minnesota Forward includes more than $210 million to address children and student mental health needs

5/11/2022 3:58:55 PM

[ST. PAUL, MN] — Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan today visited Edison High School in Minneapolis to meet with students, educators, and mental health providers and highlight the need for increased student mental health resources. The Governor and Lieutenant Governor’s Budget to Move Minnesota Forward includes more than $210 million across three years to address the increased need for children and student mental health support and intervention. Governor Walz has also proclaimed May as Mental Health Awareness Month in the state of Minnesota.

“These past few years have been hard on all of us, but especially on students and children. As former classroom teacher, I know that students carry everything that happens outside the classroom into the classroom every day, and this is why is it imperative that our students get the resources they deserve,” said Governor Walz. “With our state’s strong economic position, we can make meaningful investments in children and student mental health support and intervention, setting them up for success for years to come. I ask the Legislature to prioritize our students’ future and get this done.”

“May is Mental Health Month, which is a tremendous opportunity to talk about the future we want to build together. Meeting the mental health needs of our students is about educational opportunity and ensuring that each and every child in Minnesota can reach their full potential,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “The last few years have been hard on our young people, and we must come together with parents, teachers, and communities to provide mental health resources. We know what works for our kids, now it’s time to invest in our kids. Those resources are what our children—our future—deserve.”

The Walz-Flanagan Budget to Move Minnesota Forward —the Governor and Lieutenant Governor’s supplemental budget recommendation—includes a historic investment of $2.5 billion to ensure all students receive a world-class education and have the resources they need to thrive, with more than $210 million across three years to address the increased need for children and student mental health support.

Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan recommend $75.7 million to address shortages of school support personnel services that benefit students’ social, emotional, and physical health. The Governor and Lieutenant Governor also propose a $6 million annual investment in School-Linked Behavioral Health Grants to address the increased need for community behavioral health services for both students and school staff. Additionally, the Walz-Flanagan budget recommends $28.6 million annually to enhance school-based mental health screening; $3.759 million annually to increase access to infant and early childhood mental health programs; and $26 million to support retaining, creating, and expanding inpatient mental health beds for children.

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