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S. 689 (113th): Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act of 2013

This bill was approved by the Senate as an amendment to S. 649, the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013.
Last updated Apr 21, 2013. View all GovTrack summaries.

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Apr 11, 2013.

Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act of 2013 - Title I: Education Programs - Achievement Through Prevention Act - (Sec. 103) Amends part A of title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to allow states, local educational agencies (LEAs), and schools to use school improvement funds to implement schoolwide positive behavioral interventions and supports and early intervening services and coordinate them with similar activities carried out under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. (Early intervening services are a set of coordinated services for students in kindergarten through grade 12 who are not currently identified as needing special education or related services, but who need additional academic and behavioral support to succeed in a general education environment.)

Revises requirements for state educational agency (SEA) reports and LEA plans to include information relating to such interventions and services. Requires schoolwide programs to implement such interventions and services, and LEAs to ensure the provision of technical assistance to schools for that implementation.

Requires school improvement plans to specify whether the LEA or school will adopt and implement related policies or practices. Allows LEA improvement plans to improve or expand such interventions and services. Applies similar requirements to statewide systems for support for LEAs and schools. Requires states that receive funds for the education of neglected or delinquent children or at-risk youth to coordinate the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports, early intervening services, and school-based mental health programs to improve such students' academic performance and reduce their need for discipline.

Requires an LEA to use subgrant funds to carry out in-service training for school personnel in: (1) the techniques and supports needed to identify early any children with trauma histories and children with, or at risk of, mental illness; and (2) the use of mechanisms to refer such children to appropriate treatment and intervention services.

Authorizes programs to prevent the illegal use of drugs and violence among students to include development of school-based mental health programs.

Prescribes requirements for school-based mental health services partnership programs.

Title II: Health Programs - (Sec. 201) Amends the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize appropriations for FY2014-FY2018 and revise requirements for a youth interagency research, training, and technical assistance resource center to expand its focus from youth suicides to suicides among all ages, particularly among groups at high risk for suicide.

Reauthorizes appropriations for FY2014-FY2018 a program of grants for the development of state or tribal youth suicide early intervention and prevention strategies.

Changes the term "substance abuse" to "substance use disorder."

Reauthorizes for FY2014-FY2018 and revises a grant program to enhance services for students with mental health or substance use disorders at institutions of higher education.

(Sec. 202) Renames mental illness awareness training grants "mental health awareness training grants." Authorizes the use of grant funds for evidence-based programs for the purpose of the safe de-escalation of crisis situations involving individuals with a mental illness.

(Sec. 203) Revises requirements for grants to address the problems of persons who experience violence-related stress to specify their use for the continued operation of the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative (NCTSI) focusing on the mental, behavioral, and biological aspects of psychological trauma response.

Requires programs funded by such grants also to develop knowledge about evidence-based practices for identifying and treating mental, behavioral, and biological disorders of children and youth resulting from witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event.

Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), in awarding such grants, to give priority to universities and hospitals as well as mental health agencies and other programs meeting specified criteria (as under current law).

Directs the NCTSI coordinating center to: (1) collect, analyze, and report NCTSI-wide child treatment process and outcome data regarding the early identification and delivery of such treatment and services; (2) facilitate coordination of training initiatives in such treatments, interventions, and practices; and (3) collaborate with the Secretary in disseminating interventions, treatments, products and other resources to appropriate stakeholders. Requires the Secretary to ensure that NCTSI applications are reviewed by appropriate experts in the field as part of a consensus review process. Requires payments under a grant award to be made to the recipient for at least four of the five years of the grant. Authorizes appropriations for FY2014-FY2018. (Sec. 204) Directs the Comptroller General (GAO) to report to specified congressional committees on federal requirements that impact access to treatment of mental health and substance use disorders related to integration with primary care, administrative and regulatory issues, quality measurement and accountability, and data sharing.

(Sec. 205) Authorizes the Secretary, acting through the Administrator for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, to advance, through existing programs as appropriate, the education and awareness of providers, patients, and other appropriate stakeholders regarding all products approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat opioid use disorders.

(Sec. 206) Directs the Comptroller General to evaluate the utilization of mental health services for children, including the usage of psychotropic medications.

(Sec. 207) Amends the Public Health Service Act to require Secretary to provide technical assistance to grantees regarding evidence-based practices for the prevention and treatment of geriatric substance use and mental health disorders, as well as disseminate information about such practices to states and nongrantees.

(Sec. 208) Encourages the Secretary, acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to improve, particularly through the voluntary inclusion of additional states, the National Violent Death Reporting System.

(Sec. 209) Directs the Comptroller General to evaluate the status of implementation of recommendations made in the report to the President, "On Issues Raised by the Virginia Tech Tragedy."