Hillary Clinton calls for robust mental health curriculum
By Dan Goldberg
11/13/2017 02:46 PM EDT
Hillary Clinton called on experts and nonprofits to develop a mental
health curriculum “and just lobby like crazy” to get it into schools across
the country — part of a broader effort to reduce stigma and improve mental
health for teenagers.
“If there could be some standardized approach … then we would have a
fighting chance,” Clinton said. “I know here in New York, mental health is
becoming a much bigger priority for the de Blasio administration so there
is an open door to push on, and other places around the country just need
that kind of attention and persuasion to get it accepted and implemented.”
The former secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee was in
Manhattan on Monday for the Child Mind Institute Summit, during which she
spoke of the need to provide more resources for kids and those who teach
and take care of kids.
“The key to this is making sure that information is more readily available
to people who interact with kids,” Clinton said.
Harold Koplewicz, president of the Child Mind Institute, said more
information is critical so that the one in five American children with a
diagnosable mental health disorder, and their parents, know how to respond.
“This is a national health problem that needs to be tackled with lots of
different things, but one of them is more information for the teenagers
themselves and also for the parent and the teacher,” he said.
The de Blasio administration’s ThriveNYC plan is an $800 million effort to
increase resources for those suffering from mental health problems.
Approximately 73,000 New York City public high school students report
feeling sad or hopeless each month, according to the de Blasio
administration. The administration also offers mental health first aid
training, which helps people recognize and respond to signs of mental
Clinton did not mention President Donald Trump during the wide-ranging talk
and made few references to the 2016 election.
She called for more regulation of social media as a way to prevent the
radicalization of American teenagers.
“There is a lot of questioning and even soul-searching going on about
technology,” she said. “What happened in the election raises it, but it’s
much broader than that. It’s a discussion we need to have because I really
think there can and should be guardrails.”
It reminded her, she said, of the 1990s, when violent video games were a
concern for her husband’s administration because of how first-person
shooter games might desensitize young men. She drew a parallel to the
violent content that is so easily accessible on social media.
Clinton praised YouTube’s decision
to censor videos from Anwar al-Awlaki, the extremist cleric who was killed
by an American drone strike in 2011.
“These are the kinds of things that there should be — both self-regulatory
discipline and outside pressure,” she said. “There has to be greater
vigilance, not only from the government but from parents groups, organized
efforts by mental health groups, to keep beating back this idea that
[social media] is both good, both bad, and it all goes out in a wash
because if people are vulnerable it’s mostly bad.”