The state of New York is making history by becoming the first state to make all elementary, middle school and high schools incorporate mental health education classes into their curriculum. The state hopes to help students learn about maintaining good mental health, teach about mental illness and how to cope with mental illness.
This will definitely increase the number of people who will seek help and will seek help sooner. It will help save lives by reducing suicides and will improve the quality of many people’s lives.
If children grow up talking about mental health as a normal part of their conversations and school day, it will normalize daily conversations about mental illness. Hopefully these children will talk to their parents about what they learned and will educate their parents too. This could have a positive chain reaction. More people will begin to accept mental illness and the many people who live with the illness. This will help end mental illness stigma.
Mental illness is not a taboo topic. It is a part of life for one out of five people and their families and friends. One in five people have a mental illness, but it affects many more people than that. Most people in the world are touched or impacted by mental illness in some way.
People need to understand that mental illness can be lethal. Suicide is a symptom of most mental illnesses. Many medications used to treat mental illness cause suicidality. It is a sad, but true fact.
We should start talking to all our schools about making mental health be a part of the school curriculum beginning in the elementary schools and taught in the middle schools and high schools, as well. We need to bring this idea and concept to our legislation. We need to make it mandatory for federal mandates that all schools teach about mental illness and how to maintain good mental health.
Teaching about mental illness is imperative and will save lives? People need to stop pretending that the mental illness crisis, substance abuse issue, lives lost to suicide and gun violence will just go away. It is not going away, it is getting worse and we need to do something about it, yesterday. It is way past the time that schools educate children about mental illness.
I just recently heard about this and then found this article about it. The following information is much better and more informative than mine. Please read.
As you can see this was written back in January, so I am a bit slow on this relevant information. I think I was hibernating during winter. I was. Most of you know why. It is great to be to out of hibernation.
Now is time to end mental illness stigma. Keep fighting to find a cure. The cure is education and conversations that increase awareness and knowledge about mental illness. With education and knowledge, people with mental illness will soon be treated the way they deserve to be treated. People living with mental illness deserve to be treated with respect, compassion, understanding and kindness. They need to be treated and viewed just like everyone else, because they are like everyone else. We are everyone else.
Mental illness is nothing, I mean NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to be ashamed of.
I am not ashamed, and neither should you.
One day mental illness stigma will be cured.
Please read the following article from The Mighty.
Thank you and have a happy, healthy and fabulous day.
Love, blessings and hugs, Sue
New York First State to Require Mental Health Education in Schools
Written by Sarah Schuster, January 31, 2018
The Mental Health Association in New York State (MHANYS) — the group that spearheaded the legislation — said a move like this was long overdue, considering other public health issues, like alcohol and drug abuse, are regularly addressed in schools.
According to a report put out by MHANYS, the first signs and symptoms of mental health problems begin, on average, at about 14 years of age. Early intervention can be crucial, but often adults — and students themselves — miss early warning signs.
Many adults miss or dismiss these early signs and symptoms and young people are even less likely to recognize or understand what is happening to them. And even when there is some recognition that a young person is struggling, stigma often causes people to ignore, dismiss or rationalize a child’s true need for help. The result is often as tragic as it is unnecessary.
Young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who live with a mental illness are four times less likely than their peers to be involved in “gainful activities,” like employment, college or trade school,after completing their primary education. One in 12 high school students have attempted suicide.
In her piece “How My Life Would Have Been Different If I Had Mental Health Education in High School,” Mighty contributor Rachel Fiore said learning about mental health issues might have empowered her to get help sooner. She wrote:
High school health class teaches students about safe sex, the dangers of drunk driving and drugs. But why is mental health never a focus in high school health classes? If health classes taught about mental health, I would have realized it was not OK to swallow back the puke every day. I would have realized it was not “normal” to have my hair falling out at such a young age or to believe that one day my friends would decide to hate me. I would have realized it was not OK that the thought of college would make me physically ill.
I lacked in self-confidence in high school and I believe if I had this education then, my confidence would have been greater. I would have realized what I was experiencing and feeling was something I should be concerned with, and not every teenager felt this way every day. I would have been able to get some help.
While the legislation requires mental health to be taught in all New York public schools, grades K-12, the provisions do not specify exactly what should be in the curriculum. The authors of the MHANYS report wrote it will be up to the New York State Education Department to implement the law and decide how exactly mental health will be taught.
MHANYS Director of Public Policy John Richter told The Mighty the group will remain involved in the implementation of the legislation. They’re already working with the New York State Education Department and a mental health Advisory Council to develop regulations and guidelines. According to Richter, the council includes more than 40 educators and mental health experts.
“The intent of this law is to take a public health approach to teaching about mental health,” Richter said. “In other words, giving students the knowledge and resources they need to help recognize the early signs of mental health problems and how to get help.