2022 Advocacy Letters & Statements

SUPPORT CA SB 387 Train School Teachers & Staff on Behavioral Health Student Referrals

May 28, 2022 – SB 387

The Honorable Connie Leyva, Chair

California State Senate Education Committee


The Honorable Patrick O’Donnell, Chair

California State Assembly Education Committee


The Honorable Anthony Portantino, Chair

Senate Appropriations Committee


Re: Support CA SB-387 to Train School Teachers & Staff on Behavioral Health Student Referrals

Dear Senators Portantino and Leyya, and Assembly Member O’Donnell,

Catholic Charities of San Francisco, Marin, and San Mateo Counties wholeheartedly supports CA SB-387 (Portantino) to require mental health training for public school teachers and staff, equipping them to detect early signs of mental health and substance abuse challenges in students.

Many of the public-school students Catholic Charities serves in our after-school academic and enrichment programs experience extreme poverty and instability, situations exacerbated by the pandemic and known to cause trauma and mental health issues. To help address the crisis at the public policy level, Catholic Charities joined a host of other community-based organizations to support Senator Portantino’s previous measure, CA SB-224. Signed into law earlier this year, SB-224 now requires students in grades 1-12 receive mental health education at school to help them effectively advocate for themselves, their friends, and/or family members who may need help.

SB-387 will further improve mental health outcomes for youth by mandating school teachers and staff also receive mental health training so they can effectively provide referrals to students. Indeed, teachers and school staff, with their open doors and compassionate advice, are often the first adults young people turn to in times of crisis.

On behalf of the vulnerable children we serve and all youth in California, Catholic Charities urges your support for SB-387 to mandate mental health training for school teachers and staff so they in turn can proactively provide students with life-saving behavioral health referrals.


Ted Borromeo

Interim Chief Executive Officer, Catholic Charities


Assemblymember Matt Haney

Assemblymember Marc Levine

Assemblymember Kevin Mullin

Assemblymember Phil Ting

Senator Josh Becker

Senator Mike McGuire

Senator Susan Rubio

Senator Scott D. Wiener