Parents Want Emotional, Mental Health Education in Schools but Majority Say Topics Aren’t Currently Covered: This is Particularly Relevant with NYS Passage of the Mental Health Bill

Talk about timing regarding Mental Health Education in Schools… The
University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital just did a study about
parents and mental health education. Turns out that two thirds of the
people surveyed said that they would like mental health taught in middle
schools and high schools. In addition, only one third of the parents
surveyed said that their children’s schools taught anything about mental

This just reiterates the importance to families of mental health education
in schools. The study is attached below.

In addition, there have been several media stories related to the Governor
signing of the Mental Health Education Bill. Last night, we were on Capitol
Tonight with Liz Benjamin discussing the campaign and early implementation
scenarios. Listed below is a recent article from AP about the legislation
as well as a press release from the Office of Senator Carl Marcellino, the
Senate sponsor of the Education Bill.

If you would like more details and to get involved with us in regard to
mental health education, please contact John Richter at

Results from the University of Michigan Study on Parents and Mental Health

NY law will require mental health education in schools

By MICHAEL VIRTANEN, Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) >> New York’s schools will have to teach about mental
health in their state-mandated health classes beginning in two years.

The 40-year-old mandate for health education already specifically requires
teaching about alcohol, drugs, tobacco and the prevention and detection of
cancers. The law adding mental health teaching as a requirement was signed
Friday by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and takes effect in July 2018.

According to the bill’s sponsors, the updated curriculum will increase the
likelihood that students recognize the signs of mental illness in
themselves and others and seek help when it’s needed. About 50 percent of
students with emotional or behavioral disorders drop out of high school.
The sponsors also hope to reduce the stigma that leads to isolation,
ostracism and bullying.

In New York, many schools already teach about mental illness, said Glenn
Liebman, chief executive of the Mental Health Association of New York
State. “But a lot of schools don’t.”

A federally funded survey of more than 9,000 people in 2004 estimated that
half of Americans will meet the criteria for a mental disorder in their
lives, with the first onset usually in childhood or adolescence. It found
that anxiety disorders were acknowledged by about 29 percent, with the
median age for onset 11 years old.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey of health risks
showed almost 18 percent of youths said in 2015 that they seriously
considered attempting suicide in the previous 12 months. Nearly 15 percent
said they made an actual plan, and almost 9 percent made an attempt,
including 3 percent whose attempt resulted in an injury, poisoning or drug
overdose that required medical treatment.

In his approval message, Cuomo said the legislation contained a drafting
error, written to encompass “all schools” under state Education Department
jurisdiction, which would include college, trade and proprietary schools.
Lawmakers have agreed to pass another bill to limit it to elementary,
junior high and high schools, he wrote.

Governor Signs Marcellino Bill to Ensure Mental Health Issues are Taught
in School

Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R, C – Syosset) announces his legislation to
include mental health in health classes was signed into law (Chapter 390)
by the Governor. The new law will take effect on July 1, 2018.

“This legislation will include mental health and the relation between
mental and physical health in health education standards,” said
Marcellino. “It is important that students learn about mental health
issues, and are able to effectively recognize its signs.”

This law seeks to remove the stigma around mental illness allowing
students and their families to feel more comfortable in seeking
treatment. The new law does not mandate curriculum, it only expands
the health issues that students need to learn about to be fully
functioning adults.

“We applaud Senate Education Chair Carl Marcellino and Assembly
Education Chair, Cathy Nolan for their leadership in the passing of
the mental health education bill,” said Glenn Liebman, CEO of the
Mental Health Association in New York State. “ Students across New
York State will be better served by having a greater understanding of
mental health issues, suicide prevention and interventions designed to
help provide more information and resources and diminish the stigma of
mental illness. This is a victory for all New Yorkers.”

Glenn Liebman, CEO
Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc.

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