Steele’s legislation to provide more counseling services reported out of House Education Committee

BEFC report issued last week called for investments in mental health services

HARRISBURG, Jan. 18 – Today, Rep. Mandy Steele, D-Allegheny, announced that the House Education Committee advanced her legislation to provide more counseling services to students.

The School Counseling Services Act (H.B. 1665) would require schools to develop and implement a plan for comprehensive school counseling services.

“School counselors provide more than academic and career counseling – they also provide mental health services, helping our students to address their emotions in a healthy environment with someone who supports them,” Steele said. “Recently, the Basic Education Funding Commission issued its report, calling for additional investments in mental health services. With mental health deteriorating since the COVID-19 pandemic and nearly 65% of students asking for mental health services, we must ensure our youth have access to counseling services to help them succeed.”

As the mother of four children, this legislation is important to help our students thrive, she noted.

Steele said her legislation would benefit students in historically underserved school districts, such as Allegheny Valley, Deer Lakes, Fox Chapel, Highlands, and more.

The House Education Committee reported Steele’s legislation out of committee by a vote of 14-11. It now awaits a vote in the House.