NewsCovering Kentucky


Gov. Beshear signs student mental health bill

Posted at 8:10 AM, Apr 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-21 08:10:52-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Gov. Andy Beshear signed a bill Wednesday allowing students to now receive excused absences from school for mental health reasons.

This bill—known as House Bill 44—allows school district attendance policies to include provisions for excused absences for mental or behavioral health.

Multiple high school students helped spearhead the bill, including Marion County sophomore Amria Bowman, who told LEX 18 a few weeks ago she hoped the bill would get the governor's approval.

Supporters like Bowman say this new Kentucky law will help remove the stigma surrounding mental health, especially for young people.

"Eighth grade me would have never thought that sophomore me would be doing this," said Bowman. "I've learned that I do have the bravery to be able to speak up for myself and for others. Didn't think I would be able to do that before."

It's not only Kentucky, student mental health is also receiving attention at the federal level.

This year's passage of the "Consolidated Appropriations Act" includes more than $100 million for school-based mental health grants.