Senate Majority Mike McGuire, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond, and Mental Health Leaders Discuss Urgent Need for More Mental Health Support for our Youth

SB 1229 to Help Recruit 10,000 Mental Health Clinicians for California Schools

Monday, March 7, 2022

Sacramento, CA – Senate Majority Leader Mike McGuire and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond will host a virtual press conference at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 8, to highlight the desperate need for additional mental health support for California’s students, and a plan to address the mental health staffing shortage in our schools.

Senate Bill 1229 would provide grants of $25,000 to aspiring clinicians who commit to serving two years in communities and schools of high need. Seeking solutions to lower student-to-counselor ratios in schools is not a new effort or one unique to California. However, it is believed that with SB 1229, California would be the only state to pursue a plan as ambitious as filling 10,000 new counseling positions.

“Students in all corners of this state are struggling with pandemic-related mental health impacts. Young people have been through incredibly traumatic times the past two years and there is no doubt that we are seeing an increase in need related to students and their social-emotional well-being,” said Senate Majority Leader Mike McGuire. “There has never been a more critical time to increase the number of mental health counselors and social-emotional support in our schools than now, so kids are getting the help they need to thrive. I’m grateful to Superintendent Thurmond for his work on this critical issue, along with educational leaders all throughout California.”

“Sadly, during the pandemic, we are seeing an increase in the number of students experiencing depression, suicidal feelings, or other mental health challenges,” said Superintendent Thurmond. “At the same time, we are dealing with ongoing challenges in the state’s ability to provide a sufficient number of counselors to support student mental health needs.”

Senator Mike McGuire is the author of SB 1229. He’s working in partnership with Superintendent Thurmond, who’s made this critical issue one of his top priorities.

Speakers at the press conference include:

  • State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond
  • State Senator Mike McGuire
  • Chris Stoner-Mertz, CEO, California Alliance of Child and Family Services
  • Eva Terrazas, Chief Public Policy and Advocacy Officer at Pacific Clinics

A Q&A session with members of the news media will immediately follow remarks. Members of the press may submit questions in advance to or may submit questions live in the Zoom Q&A feature.

Date:      Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Time:     10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Where to Watch: Register for the media check-in: