More States Requiring Mental Health Education by Law

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From TODAY: “This isn’t the fifth-grade class you had in school. New York Bill A3887B, signed into law in 2016, requires mental health education to be a part of health education across all grade levels. One of its goals was to enhance understanding and promote human dignity, supporters wrote.

‘When the law was passed, people were woken up,’ said Dominick Palma, superintendent of the Merrick Union Free School District.

In elementary school, most of it is focused on developing social-emotional skills and tying into children’s understanding of how physical health and mental health go together, Palma told TODAY.

‘As students get older, into the middle school and high school grades, that’s where there’s even more of a focus on what mental health is, what mental illness is, how you advocate for yourself, how you advocate for others,’ said Palma.

A TODAY analysis found New York is among at least nine states that require a mental health curriculum by law. At least 20 states and the District of Columbia include mental health in their health or education standards.”

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