The Health Education Act (H.3257), sponsored by State Representative JA Moore (D-Berkeley), passed the South Carolina House of Representatives this week with unanimous, bipartisan support.
The act improves access to mental health resources in public schools in South Carolina by making a change to curriculum standards in health science. It was passed unanimously by the House after receiving a favorable report by the House Committee on Education and Public Works last Wednesday.
“Mental health is an issue that I take very seriously,” Rep. Moore said January 21. “We have to ensure that our children are taken care of and know when and how to seek help when they need it. My bill improves access to the resources that our children need, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate and Governor McMaster to sign this into law.”
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 33% of South Carolina high school students in 2017 reported feeling sad or hopeless almost every day for 2 or more weeks in a row. In addition, 11% of 12-17 year-olds reported having at least one major depressive episode that same year. The Health Education Act is designed to combat this crisis by offering students improved resources in their classes to reduce stigma and give them the help they need.
H.3257 is one of many bills Rep. Moore is focusing on during this year’s legislative session to improve the lives of his constituents and all South Carolinians.