Studies Show Federal Mental Health Programs Make Students Worse

The recent shootings in Uvalde, Texas; Buffalo, New York; and Highland Park, Illinois, led to discussions in Congress about whether to increase gun control. While the left would like to increase restrictions on buying a firearm, many on the right are hesitant to put tighter restrictions, such as red-flag laws, in place.

Aside from the recently passed Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, Republicans and Democrats will continue to struggle to compromise on this issue, but both concede a serious mental health crisis is driving many mass shootings. In response, Congress will most likely pass bills designating money to programs addressing mental-health disorders through established mental-health programs, like the federal Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) program implemented in American schools to improve student mental health. But should they? . . .

In 2014, President Obama launched the Now Is the Time Initiative, which focused on mental health. According to The Mental Health First Aid website, the program received $15 million in federal grants to launch Mental Health First Aid programs in classrooms. One year later, Obama gave the organization another $15 million and a commitment to annually fund the program. . .

In a report by the Manhattan Institute, MHFA studies’ results were collected and put into a table showing the program’s ineffectiveness. Out of 46 published reviews, 13 impact case studies were from the official MHFA website, 14 used a randomized control trial design, 7 examined the beneficiary outcomes of the program, and 16 were completed by an MHFA program creator. The results varied between cases, but all of them showed detrimental results as a consequence of MHFA programs.

Some case studies looked at MHFA programs on different college campuses. In one experiment, one-half of the colleges’ resident advisors were given MHFA training while the other half received no instruction. Surprisingly, there was not merely a lack of evidence suggesting MHFA improved students’ mental health in the trained resident advisor’s halls, but evidence indicated that resident advisors with the training had worse results than did resident advisors with none. (Read more from “Studies Show Federal Mental Health Programs Make Students Worse” HERE)

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