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  H.B. No. 1386
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the public health threat presented by youth suicide and
  the qualification of certain persons serving as marriage and family
  therapists in school districts.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  This Act is dedicated to every child who has
  fallen victim to severe emotional trauma.
         SECTION 2.  The legislature finds that:
               (1)  the United States Surgeon General's Report on
  Children's Mental Health estimates that one in five children and
  adolescents will experience a significant mental health problem
  during their school years;
               (2)  during elementary school years, children are in an
  ongoing developmental process where it is crucial that healthy
  mental and behavioral development be promoted and that a solid
  foundation in social-emotional skills and capacities be built;
               (3)  adolescence is a period of significant change,
  during which youth are faced with a myriad of pressures;
               (4)  the pressures facing youth during adolescence
  include pressures relating to adapting to bodily changes,
  succeeding academically, making college and career decisions,
  being accepted by peers, including pressure to engage in drugs,
  alcohol, and sex, measuring up to expectations of others, and
  coping with family and peer conflicts;
               (5)  increased levels of victimization also lead to
  increased levels of depression and anxiety and decreased levels of
  self-esteem;
               (6)  emotional trauma and mental health issues, if left
  unaddressed, can lead and have led to life-threatening violence and
  suicide;
               (7)  suicide committed by youth continues to present a
  public health threat that endangers the well-being of the youth of
  the state;
               (8)  suicide is the third leading cause of death for
  persons who are at least 15 years of age but younger than 25 years of
  age and the sixth leading cause of death for persons who are at
  least 5 years of age but younger than 15 years of age; and
               (9)  it is of the utmost importance to keep children and
  adolescents mentally healthy and on a course to become mentally
  healthy adults.
         SECTION 3.  Chapter 161, Health and Safety Code, is amended
  by adding Subchapter O-1 to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER O-1. EARLY MENTAL HEALTH INTERVENTION AND PREVENTION OF
  YOUTH SUICIDE
         Sec. 161.325.  EARLY MENTAL HEALTH INTERVENTION AND SUICIDE
  PREVENTION. (a) The department, in coordination with the Texas
  Education Agency, shall provide and annually update a list of
  recommended best practice-based early mental health intervention
  and suicide prevention programs for implementation in public
  elementary, junior high, middle, and high schools within the
  general education setting. Each school district may select from
  the list a program or programs appropriate for implementation in
  the district.
         (b)  The programs on the list must include components that
  provide for training 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 committing 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 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; and
               (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
  services, may be taken by a parent or guardian.
         (c)  In developing the list of programs, the department and
  the Texas Education Agency 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.
         (d)  The board of trustees of each school district may adopt
  a policy concerning early mental health intervention and suicide
  prevention that:
               (1)  establishes a procedure for providing notice of a
  recommendation for early mental health 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 (b)(2);
               (2)  establishes a procedure for providing notice of a
  student identified as at risk of committing 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
  (b)(2);
               (3)  establishes 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 intervention or suicide
  prevention; and
               (4)  sets 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 intervention or
  suicide prevention.
         (e)  The policy 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 intervention or
  suicide prevention.
         (f)  The policy and any necessary procedures adopted under
  Subsection (d) must be included in:
               (1)  the annual student handbook; and
               (2)  the district improvement plan under Section
  11.252, Education Code.
         (g)  The department may accept donations for purposes of this
  section from sources without a conflict of interest. The
  department may not accept donations for purposes of this section
  from an anonymous source.
         (h)  Not later than January 1, 2013, the department shall
  submit a report to the legislature relating to the development of
  the list of programs and the implementation in school districts of
  selected programs by school districts that choose to implement
  programs. This subsection expires September 1, 2013.
         (i)  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. Policy and procedures
  adopted in accordance with this section are intended to notify a
  parent or guardian of a need for mental health 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.
         SECTION 4.  Section 11.252(a), Education Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  Each school district shall have a district improvement
  plan that is developed, evaluated, and revised annually, in
  accordance with district policy, by the superintendent with the
  assistance of the district-level committee established under
  Section 11.251. The purpose of the district improvement plan is to
  guide district and campus staff in the improvement of student
  performance for all student groups in order to attain state
  standards in respect to the student achievement indicators adopted
  under Section 39.053. The district improvement plan must include
  provisions for:
               (1)  a comprehensive needs assessment addressing
  district student performance on the student achievement
  indicators, and other appropriate measures of performance, that are
  disaggregated by all student groups served by the district,
  including categories of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sex, and
  populations served by special programs, including students in
  special education programs under Subchapter A, Chapter 29;
               (2)  measurable district performance objectives for
  all appropriate student achievement indicators for all student
  populations, including students in special education programs
  under Subchapter A, Chapter 29, and other measures of student
  performance that may be identified through the comprehensive needs
  assessment;
               (3)  strategies for improvement of student performance
  that include:
                     (A)  instructional methods for addressing the
  needs of student groups not achieving their full potential;
                     (B)  methods for addressing the needs of students
  for special programs, including:
                           
                           (i)  [such as] suicide prevention programs,
  in accordance with Subchapter O-1, Chapter 161, Health and Safety
  Code, which includes a parental or guardian notification procedure;
                           (ii)  [,] conflict resolution programs;
                           (iii)  [,] violence prevention programs; and
                           (iv)  [, or] dyslexia treatment programs;
                     (C)  dropout reduction;
                     (D)  integration of technology in instructional
  and administrative programs;
                     (E)  discipline management;
                     (F)  staff development for professional staff of
  the district;
                     (G)  career education to assist students in
  developing the knowledge, skills, and competencies necessary for a
  broad range of career opportunities; and
                     (H)  accelerated education;
               (4)  strategies for providing to middle school, junior
  high school, and high school students, those students' teachers and
  counselors, and those students' parents information about:
                     (A)  higher education admissions and financial
  aid opportunities;
                     (B)  the TEXAS grant program and the Teach for
  Texas grant program established under Chapter 56;
                     (C)  the need for students to make informed
  curriculum choices to be prepared for success beyond high school;
  and
                     (D)  sources of information on higher education
  admissions and financial aid;
               (5)  resources needed to implement identified
  strategies;
               (6)  staff responsible for ensuring the accomplishment
  of each strategy;
               (7)  timelines for ongoing monitoring of the
  implementation of each improvement strategy; and
               (8)  formative evaluation criteria for determining
  periodically whether strategies are resulting in intended
  improvement of student performance.
         SECTION 5.  Section 21.003(b), Education Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  Except as otherwise provided by this subsection, a [A]
  person may not be employed by a school district as an audiologist,
  occupational therapist, physical therapist, physician, nurse,
  school psychologist, associate school psychologist, marriage and
  family therapist, social worker, or speech language pathologist
  unless the person is licensed by the state agency that licenses that
  profession and[. A person] may perform specific services within
  those professions for a school district only if the person holds the
  appropriate credential from the appropriate state agency. As long
  as a person employed by a district before September 1, 2011, to
  perform marriage and family therapy, as defined by Section 502.002,
  Occupations Code, is employed by the same district, the person is
  not required to hold a license as a marriage and family therapist to
  perform marriage and family therapy with that district.
         SECTION 6.  Section 502.004, Occupations Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 502.004.  APPLICATION OF CHAPTER. This chapter does
  not apply to:
               (1)  the activities, within the scope of a person's
  employment, of a person employed to perform marriage and family
  therapy by a federal, state, county, or municipal agency or, except
  as provided by Section 21.003(b), Education Code, by a public or
  private educational institution[, if the activities are within the
  scope of the person's employment];
               (2)  the activities of a student, intern, or trainee in
  marriage and family therapy in a recognized course of study in
  marriage and family therapy at an accredited institution of higher
  education or other training institution, if:
                     (A)  the activities constitute a part of the
  course of study; and
                     (B)  the person is called a "marriage and family
  therapist intern" or similar title;
               (3)  the activities and services of a person licensed
  to practice another profession, including a physician, attorney,
  registered nurse, occupational therapist, psychologist, social
  worker, or licensed professional counselor; or
               (4)  the activities and services of a recognized
  religious practitioner, including a pastoral counselor or
  Christian Science practitioner recognized by the Church of Christ
  Scientist as registered and published in the Christian Science
  Journal, if the practitioner practices marriage and family therapy
  in a manner consistent with the laws of this state.
         SECTION 7.  As soon as practicable after the effective date
  of this Act, the State Board for Educator Certification shall
  propose rules for the administration of Section 21.003(b),
  Education Code, as amended by this Act.
         SECTION 8.  This Act applies beginning with the 2012-2013
  school year.
         SECTION 9.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2011.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 1386 was passed by the House on May
  13, 2011, by the following vote:  Yeas 107, Nays 29, 3 present, not
  voting; and that the House concurred in Senate amendments to H.B.
  No. 1386 on May 26, 2011, by the following vote:  Yeas 111, Nays 32,
  1 present, not voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 1386 was passed by the Senate, with
  amendments, on May 23, 2011, by the following vote:  Yeas 28, Nays
  3.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate   
  APPROVED: __________________
                  Date       
   
           __________________
                Governor