New York is to become the first state in America that will require schools to have mental health education on the curriculum. The requirement – that will become law on July 1, 2018 – will be put into practice in elementary, middle and high schools from the start of the 2018-19 academic year in September.
A member of the board of New York State’s Mental Health Association, Karl Shallowhorn said:
“Frankly, we need this and we need it more than ever I believe. Students will be more knowledgeable, and so will their teachers, about what to look for if a person is in need of help … it will also normalize the topic of mental health.”
It is hoped that this new law will give students the tools to recognize the signs of mental illness, either with themselves or friends/family. The law was instigated by The Mental Health Association in New York State (MHANYS), which found that “the first signs and symptoms of mental health problems begin, on average, at about 14 years of age.”