Graphic that shows teenager kneeling and hiding face, with student signage that says counselors not cops

Prioritize Student Mental Health and Wellness

This continuing pandemic has had a devastating impact on the mental health of students. California must continue to invest in mental health support for students to address this crisis.

Sign our petition to tell California leaders it's time to meaningfully invest in our student's mental health.

This petition will be sent to:

  • Governor Gavin Newsom
  • Tony Thurmond, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, State Board President, CA State Board of Education
  • Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, California Surgeon General
  • Senator Connie Leyva, Chair, Senate Committee on Education
  • Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell, Chair, Assembly Committee on Education
  • Brooks Allen, Executive Director, State Board of Education
  • Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of Health and Human Services

We, the undersigned California students and concerned adults, continue to urge you to protect and support the mental health of California students. California has taken positive strides to fund mental health supports in our schools but our students need stable, ongoing funding for this work.

The 2022 proposed budget includes the “biggest appropriation in decades for arts and music,” but it only supports K-6 students in after-school/summer programs. Only 21% of California 8th graders participated in an arts course in 2019 compared to 37% nationally. Many California high schools offer no arts courses.

We urge you to take action to ensure that all California students have support to recover from the pandemic, including investing more in school-based mental health, arts education, and other critical resources for all ages K-12. We also urge you to meet with student leadership and student mental health professionals to learn more about the ways the state can support students in this unprecedented time of crisis.

California must:

  • Increase and sustain investments in mental health services for youth.
  • Support holistic education and wellness by funding arts for ALL students, not just grades K-6.
  • Ensure that student mental/behavioral health needs are not responded to by law enforcement.

These findings echo findings and demands from our first petition sent in January 2021, before the state of student mental health was recognized by the United Nations and the US Surgeon General as a crisis demanding attention from leaders. We urge you to continue to build upon the support California has offered - we must do more to continue to support our students.