Beginning this Fall, all schools in New York State will have mandatory mental health classes. This makes New York State the first state to make mental health a part of the school curriculum.
The law was passed in 2016 and officially became active on July 1st, 2018. What this means is that all elementary, middle, and high school students will be taught about identifying the signs during their regular gym and health classes.
These lessons for these mental health classes are set to be structured around nine main points, that was provided in the guidelines by the New York State Mental Health Education Advisory Council, including providing resources, and breaking the stigma about mental health issues.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America stated that 18.1% of adults aged 18 and over suffer from anxiety disorders every year. They also stated that teens between the age of 13 and 18 have experienced mental health issues, most of them being severe.
In an article posted on Daily Mail, State education commissioner, Mary Ellen Elia spoke about the importance of breaking the stigma surrounding mental health.
‘When young people learn about mental health and that it is an important aspect of overall health and well-being, the likelihood increases they will be able to effectively recognize signs and symptoms in themselves and others and will know where to turn for help – and it will decrease the stigma that attaches to help-seeking,’ she said.
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