POSTED: Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - 5:17pm
UPDATED: Thursday, May 30, 2013 - 9:37am
Tyler, Texas (KETK) --- — Ever since the tragedy in Newtown Connecticut, measures to beef up security in schools have been crossing lawmakers desks, and the issue of mental health is at the forefront as well.
Texas Republican Senator Charles Schwartner, of District 5, proposed a bill that would but provide more training for teachers with students who may need mental help.
Schwartner tells the Texas Tribune, "This bill will help Texas teachers recognize the warning signs for a variety of serious mental illnesses." Now this bill is awaiting Governor Rick Perry's signature.
James Moyers, Principal of Cumberland Academy in Tyler, also a taught in East Texas for 19 years before he became Principal.
Moyers says, "Teachers realize that a student may have a problem but may not be sure what that problem is." He says as a teacher he would sometimes notice a student that may be depressed or have anxiety, he says, “I've been in that situation and i usually would refer them to a counselor or to someone who had better training on things like that."
The National Alliance for Mental Illness in Texas (NAMI) http://www.namitexas.org/  reports that 7.5 million children are affected by mental, developmental or behavioral disorders.
The ‘mental health’ bill would prepare more teachers though a voluntary 12 hour training course to help recognize these problems.
This Training would help Texas teachers coordinate with parents to help children lead a better life.
Moyers says, this measure is long overdue. “The more that teachers are trained to observe and help students in difficult situations the better off we are."
This mental health training would be voluntary for all Texas Educators and the funding for this program will come from the State's Department of Health and Human Services budget.
Read more about this bill here: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/