Mara Powell

Statement by Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director, Kentucky Youth Advocates

LOUISVILLE, KY – The Kentucky Senate has unanimously passed Senate Bill 102, sponsored by Senator Max Wise, to help ensure there is an adequate number of mental health providers in schools to serve students in need of supports.

Schools play a critical role in providing a trauma-informed environment for children to learn and grow, including access to mental health supports. Over one in five Kentucky children have experienced at least two Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), such as experiencing violence, being separated from a parent due to incarceration, or having substance use present in the household, which can result in toxic stress and cause harm to a child’s developing brain. Research shows that when caring adults provide physically and emotionally safe environments for children and teach them how to be resilient—to solve problems, build nurturing relationships, and manage their emotions—the long- and short-term negative effects of ACEs can be reduced.

We thank Senator Wise for championing this measure and the Senate for continuing their important work to improve the safety and well-being of Kentucky students with passage of SB 102.

Stay up-to-date on Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children priorities and other bills that are good for kids on our Kentucky General Assembly Bill Tracker.


About Kentucky Youth Advocates
Kentucky Youth Advocates believes all children deserve to be safe, healthy, and secure. As THE independent voice for Kentucky’s children, we work to ensure policymakers create investments and policies that are good for children. Learn more at