H952: Mental Health Triage Unit Pilot Program. Latest Version
AN ACT to establish the mental health triage unit pilot program.
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION 1.(a) Program; Purpose. – The State Board of Education shall establish the Mental Health Triage Unit Pilot Program (Program) to provide funds to establish at least one mental health triage unit in each participating local school administrative unit. The Program shall be administered for a period of three fiscal years and shall expire on June 30, 2024.
SECTION 1.(b) Participation. – Local school administrative units may submit applications to the State Board of Education to participate in the Program. The State Board shall select up to eight local school administrative units to participate in the Program and shall consider at least all of the following factors when assessing applications:
(1) The level of resources available to the local school administrative unit that would receive the funds.
(2) The overall impact on student mental health in the local school administrative unit if that unit were selected to participate in the Program.
(3) The history in the local school administrative unit of sudden traumatic events.
SECTION 1.(c) Implementation. – Each participating local school administrative unit shall receive two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) in each fiscal year in which funds are made available to establish and maintain at least one mental health triage unit in the local school administrative unit. The purpose of a mental health triage unit is to provide mental health resources to students and staff and to be on call during school operating hours to respond to mental health emergencies that may arise. Participating local school administrative units shall inform students and staff about any available mental health triage unit and provide opportunities to learn about the purposes and function of a mental health triage unit.
SECTION 1.(d) Guidelines for Mental Health Triage Units. – The Department of Public Instruction and the Center for Safer Schools, in consultation with the Department of Public Safety, shall establish standards and guidelines for the development, operation, and staffing of mental health triage units pursuant to the Program, including a requirement that each mental health triage unit shall be composed of at least one of each of the following personnel:
(1) School nurse.
(2) School social worker.
(3) School counselor who is a licensed clinical mental health counselor, as defined in G.S. 90‑330(a)(2).
SECTION 1.(e) Report. – No later than March 15, 2022, and each year thereafter in which funds are provided, the State Board of Education shall report on the Program to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee. At a minimum, the report shall include the identity of each local school administrative unit that received funds pursuant to the Program and an assessment of the impact of the Program on the mental health and well‑being of students in the participating local school administrative units.
SECTION 2. There is appropriated from the General Fund to the Department of Public Instruction for the 2021‑2022 fiscal year the sum of two million dollars ($2,000,000) in recurring funds to implement the Mental Health Triage Unit Pilot Program established by this act.
SECTION 3. This act becomes effective July 1, 2021.