MADISON–Today, State Representative Robyn Vining, along with members of the Legislative LGBTQ+ Caucus, the Transgender Parent and Non-Binary Advocacy Caucus, and Democratic members of the Assembly Committee on Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Prevention introduced a bill to address the mental health of LGBTQIA+ students, and train mental health professionals on the rights of LGBTQIA+ youth. State Representative Robyn Vining released the following statement:

 

“Every Wisconsin child deserves access to the mental healthcare they need. According to the Office of Children’s Mental Health 2023 Annual Report, 48% of LGBTQIA+ youth seriously considered suicide, nearly triple the rate among their non-LGBTQIA+ peers. The increase in anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation negatively impacts LGBTQIA+ youth, contributing to rising rates of anxiety, depression, and suicidality. The mere introduction of anti-LGBTQ+ bills causes harm to the mental health of Wisconsin’s youth, and we must respond with help for these kids.

 

“This bill provides grants to school boards to provide training in LGBTQIA+ rights to school counselors and school social workers. This training gives school mental health professionals the tools they need to identify and address the unique issues facing LGBTQIA+ students and will increase the quality of mental healthcare that these students receive in schools. 

 

“LGBTQIA+ students deserve to feel safe and supported in our schools. It is time that this legislature invests in the mental health and well-being of Wisconsin students. Along with the eight other “Mental Healthcare is Healthcare” bills I introduced this session, this package allows legislators to finally do what is needed to address the mental health needs of Wisconsinites. Mental healthcare is healthcare, and these bills help Wisconsin move forward, together.

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