Sarbanes Highlights Untapped Potential of School-Based Health Centers to Address Childhood Trauma

During a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing today, Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) urged his colleagues to invest additional resources in School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs), which have a unique ability to effectively respond to childhood trauma and improve health outcomes for children and young adults.

“I’ve been an advocate for a long time of trying to strengthen school-based health centers, and really aspire to where every school has a health suite that’s there at every level: elementary, middle, and high school,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “And then making sure that among the professionals that are serving those centers are mental-health professionals and counselors.”

Congressman Sarbanes continued: “I can’t think of a better place to bring those services to address many of the trauma situations that we’ve discussed today, than into our schools, because you have a captive audience, you have the audience that’s the most impacted at a young age from trauma, whether it’s something that’s been experienced at home, whether it’s one of these collective impacts.” 

In April, Congressman Sarbanes introduced the School-Based Health Centers Reauthorization Act, a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the SBHC program through 2024 and provide SBHCs with the federal support they need to continue delivering valuable, low-cost health care to students across the country.