Texas Education Code

Sec. § 38.351
Mental Health Promotion and Intervention, Substance Abuse Prevention and Intervention, and Suicide Prevention


(a)

The agency, in coordination with the Health and Human Services Commission and regional education service centers, shall provide and annually update a list of recommended best practice-based programs and research-based practices in the areas specified under Subsection (c) for implementation in public elementary, junior high, middle, and high schools within the general education setting.

(b)

Each school district may select from the list provided under Subsection (a) a program or programs appropriate for implementation in the district.

(c)

The list provided under Subsection (a) must include programs and practices in the following areas:

(1)

early mental health prevention and intervention;

(2)

building skills related to managing emotions, establishing and maintaining positive relationships, and responsible decision-making;

(3)

substance abuse prevention and intervention;

(4)

suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention;

(5)

grief-informed and trauma-informed practices;

(6)

positive school climates;

(7)

positive behavior interventions and supports;

(8)

positive youth development; and

(9)

safe, supportive, and positive school climate.

(d)

For purposes of Subsection (c), “school climate” means the quality and character of school life, including interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures, as experienced by students enrolled in the school district, parents of those students, and personnel employed by the district.

(e)

The suicide prevention programs on the list provided under Subsection (a) must include components that provide for training school counselors, teachers, nurses, administrators, and other staff, as well as law enforcement officers and social workers who regularly interact with students, to:

(1)

recognize students at risk of attempting suicide, including students who are or may be the victims of or who engage in bullying;

(2)

recognize students displaying early warning signs and a possible need for early mental health or substance abuse intervention, which warning signs may include declining academic performance, depression, anxiety, isolation, unexplained changes in sleep or eating habits, and destructive behavior toward self and others;

(3)

intervene effectively with students described by Subdivision (1) or (2) by providing notice and referral to a parent or guardian so appropriate action, such as seeking mental health or substance abuse services, may be taken by a parent or guardian; and

(4)

assist students in returning to school following treatment of a mental health concern or suicide attempt.

(f)

In developing the list of best practice-based programs and research-based practices, the agency and the Health and Human Services Commission shall consider:

(1)

any existing suicide prevention method developed by a school district; and

(2)

any Internet or online course or program developed in this state or another state that is based on best practices recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.

(g)

Except as otherwise provided by this subsection, each school district shall provide training described in the components set forth under Subsection (e) for teachers, school counselors, principals, and all other appropriate personnel. A school district is required to provide the training at an elementary school campus only to the extent that sufficient funding and programs are available. A school district may implement a program on the list to satisfy the requirements of this subsection.

(h)

If a school district provides the training under Subsection (g):

(1)

a school district employee described under that subsection must participate in the training at least one time; and

(2)

the school district shall maintain records that include the name of each district employee who participated in the training.

(i)

A school district shall develop practices and procedures concerning each area listed in Subsection (c), including mental health promotion and intervention, substance abuse prevention and intervention, and suicide prevention, that:

(1)

include a procedure for providing notice of a recommendation for early mental health or substance abuse intervention regarding a student to a parent or guardian of the student within a reasonable amount of time after the identification of early warning signs as described by Subsection (e)(2);

(2)

include a procedure for providing notice of a student identified as at risk of attempting suicide to a parent or guardian of the student within a reasonable amount of time after the identification of early warning signs as described by Subsection (e)(2);

(3)

establish that the district may develop a reporting mechanism and may designate at least one person to act as a liaison officer in the district for the purposes of identifying students in need of early mental health or substance abuse intervention or suicide prevention;

(4)

set out available counseling alternatives for a parent or guardian to consider when their child is identified as possibly being in need of early mental health or substance abuse intervention or suicide prevention; and

(5)

include procedures:

(A)

to support the return of a student to school following hospitalization or residential treatment for a mental health condition or substance abuse; and

(B)

for suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention.

(j)

The practices and procedures developed under Subsection (i):

(1)

may address multiple areas listed in Subsection (c) together; and

(2)

must prohibit the use without the prior consent of a student’s parent or guardian of a medical screening of the student as part of the process of identifying whether the student is possibly in need of early mental health or substance abuse intervention or suicide prevention.

(k)

The practices and procedures developed under Subsection (i) must be included in:

(1)

the annual student handbook; and

(2)

the district improvement plan under Section 11.252 (District-level Planning and Decision-making).

(l)

The agency shall develop and make available to school districts guiding principles on the coordination of programs and practices in areas listed under Subsection (c).

(m)

The agency, the Health and Human Services Commission, and each regional education service center:

(1)

may accept donations for purposes of this section from sources without a conflict of interest; and

(2)

may not accept donations for purposes of this section from an anonymous source.

(n)

Nothing in this section is intended to interfere with the rights of parents or guardians and the decision-making regarding the best interest of the child. Practices and procedures developed in accordance with this section are intended to notify a parent or guardian of a need for mental health or substance abuse intervention so that a parent or guardian may take appropriate action. Nothing in this section shall be construed as giving school districts the authority to prescribe medications. Any and all medical decisions are to be made by a parent or guardian of a student.

(o)

In this section, “postvention” includes activities that promote healing necessary to reduce the risk of suicide by a person affected by the suicide of another.
Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1134 (H.B. 1386), Sec. 3, eff. June 17, 2011.
Amended by:
Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 578 (S.B. 831), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2013.
Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 578 (S.B. 831), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2013.
Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1321 (S.B. 460), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2013.
Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 522 (S.B. 179), Sec. 12, eff. September 1, 2017.
Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 714 (H.B. 4056), Sec. 1, eff. June 12, 2017.
Reenacted, transferred, redesignated and amended by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 352 (H.B. 18), Sec. 1.21, eff. December 1, 2019.
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Jun. 7, 2021