Trenton – Legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Lagana that would set up a Train the Trainer Program for student well-being within the Department of Education and appropriate $1 million from the general fund to carry out the bill’s stated purposes passed out of the Senate Education Committee.
As defined by the bill, S-2659, the new program’s purpose would be to educate participants on how to effectively lead a course for public school teachers and staff on the topic of student behavioral and mental health. Participants would be provided with the knowledge and resources needed to lead a training course on methods that promote student behavioral and mental health in the school and classroom environments.
The program would be designed to provide evidence-based instruction on, and prepare a participant to lead, a student behavioral and mental health training course in a public school that covers, among other areas:
- trauma-informed approaches to improve overall school climate and culture;
- the signs of behavioral and mental health challenges and substance use disorders that may be experienced by students;
- restorative practices for addressing youth behavioral and mental health challenges.
“Though tremendous gains have been made as far as overall investment in wider mental health services in our schools, the existing supports are just not enough to meet the growing demand,” said Senator Lagana (D-Bergen/Passaic). “The Train the Trainer Program will help us begin to fill the gap, by providing quality training and expertise for teachers and other staff who day in and day out are on the frontlines when it comes to addressing the social and emotional needs of our students.”
The bill was released from the Senate Education Committee by a vote of 5-0.