SACRAMENTO — Governor Gavin Newsom paid a visit to a local school in Sacramento County on Thursday, touting California’s billion-dollar investments in youth mental health.
Encina High School is one of the first schools in the state to see money and services for expanded mental health access and wraparound services. This community school and its neighbor campuses have on-campus tools for students to learn and practice wellness, and how to take care of their mental health. These tools are available for students as young as pre-K and this is part of the school day, like math or science.
Don Hicks, a junior at Encina High School, said, “it’s a safe space, community, where you can come and be yourself”.
Juniors at Encina High School campus will tell you that it’s not easy to be a teen.
Hicks also said, “we do have a couple of programs that help us with mental wellness and mental health, I’m a part of those programs.”
Those programs are what brought Governor Newsom and the First Partner, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, to campus. They wanted to see for themselves how the $4.1 billion that was meant to create these “community schools” with wraparound services has been implemented.
First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom said, “1st grade children were doing yoga, downward facing dog, breathwork, led by this incredible teacher. It was beautiful.”
The Newsoms also took part in lunch. The universal school meal is a program that guarantees all students, regardless of income have access to two free school meals per day.
It’s the mental health investment that students noticed the most, and it’s also what the Governor touted most.
“No one is investing $4.5 billion in screening and wellness mental health support. No one. It’s extraordinary,” Gov. Newsom said.
Healthcare workers will be employed to meet the goals at these community schools.