Needville residents go to Capitol Hill to discuss youth, mental health issues

July 18, 2017 GMT

Needville residents Helaine Sandler and Nikki Preece of Fulshear Treatment to Transition went to Capitol Hill to meet with congressional representatives and staff members as part of a 25-member delegation from the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP).

NATSAP is the North American resource for programs and professionals assisting young people with emotional and behavioral difficulties.

Sandler and Preece met with Rep. Rob Bishop (UT) and staff members from the offices of Sens. Ted Cruz (TX), Dianne Feinstein (CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), and Kamala Harris (CA).

“In our meetings, we stressed the stringent credentials of NATSAP-member programs and discussed the importance of therapeutic treatment options for at-risk adolescents and teenagers,” said Sandler.

They also discussed their desire to work on legislation that would improve therapeutic schools and programs.

“This was a great opportunity for us to share our personal stories and express NATSAP’s desire to work collaboratively with congressional leaders on improved, effective legislation,” said Preece.

NATSAP and its members work year round on communicating with national and state legislators culminating in the annual NATSAP Capitol Hill Day in Washington, D.C.

All NATSAP member programs that treat children under 18 are overseen by state therapeutic licensure or accredited by major mental health bodies, and in some cases, both.