NYAPRS Note: There’s a new allocation of $1 million for this initiative to support the implementation of last year’s legislation that requires mental health related education in the schools, a top priority by our friends at the Mental Health Association of NYS. According to MHANYS, “the Center will provide phone and web based information, referral services, consultation with individual school districts, regional summits, webinars and in person professional development.” Advocates have seen this education as necessary and are hoping that the technical assistance center will help to avoid pathologizing mental health. It is in tune with teaching biology and students learning about how the rest of the body works. Great thanks are due all around to the Executive and the Legislature, especially Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther.
New Law Requires Districts to Offer Mental Health Education to Students
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - State lawmakers passed a 2018-2019 budget this weekend, and tucked away in it was funding for mental health education.
The new law puts New York State at the forefront on the issue. It's the first state in the nation to require mental health education for students in grades K-12.
Lawmakers passed a $1,000,000 measure in the budget to help implement the program across the state. The money goes toward a technical assistance center which will feature phone and web based information and consultations that will help school districts develop individualized programs.
President and CEO of the Mental Health Association, Chacku Mathai said, "We need to really make sure that it's not something that furthers stigma or a sense of discrimination or exclusion for students. We want this to be something that people feel empowered by and are excited about being able to be open about mental health needs and issues that are happening."
Each district will have to make their own decisions on how they decide to implement mental health into their curriculum. The new law goes into effect on July 1, 2018.