As budget negotiations are continuing, one of the priority areas for
MHANYS is the creation of a School Mental Health Resource and Training
Center. Listed below is an article from this week’s Mental Health Weekly
highlighting the need for this funding.

Mental Health Weekly / Volume 28 Number 12 / March 19, 2018

N.Y. advocates push for funding to support education law

In just a few months, New York state is poised to become the first state to
require mental health education to be part of the school curriculum. On
July 1, 2018, all elementary, middle and high schools across the state are
to begin teaching about mental health. In the interim, mental health
advocates are promoting awareness about the law and urging lawmakers to
provide funding for training.

New York will be the first to emphasize mental health instruction for all
grades. The move follows legislation signed into law in 2016 and slated to
take effect in July 2018, in time for the new school year. As part of the
preparation process, mental health advocates are working with the school
districts to set the curriculum (see *MHW*, Oct. 27, 2016).

“We’re raising awareness and working with legislators to get more funding
in the budget for mental health in schools,” Glenn Liebman, CEO of the
Mental Health Association in New York State (MHANYS), told *MHW*. Advocates
are asking legislators for $1 million each year for three years, said
Liebman. Although the proposed budget was recently released, advocates are
hoping for this funding request to be included before the budget passes on
April 1, he said.

On March 14, advocates and consumers descended on the Capitol in Albany
with their request during “Mental Health Matters Legislative Advocacy Day.”
“We want to make sure schools, educators and mental health professionals
become aware of the new law,” said Liebman.

In preparation for the upcoming school year in the fall, guidance documents
will be distributed to the schools, said Liebman. Although that’s a very
significant part of this process, more funding is needed, he said. “We need
to go out and train teachers who are going to be doing the mental health
training,” Liebman said, adding that it’s important to ensure educators are
well-equipped for mental health education.

MHANYS is the lead agency on providing this training, Liebman said. MHANYS
members, many of whom are embedded in the schools, will be collaborating as
well with educators around the state. They will help to spread awareness
about the appropriate resources needed in this effort, he said.

*Mobilizing efforts*

MHANYS is making legislators aware of such efforts through its cosponsoring
a series of statewide, regional summits titled “Your Role in Addressing the
Growing Mental Health Crisis Among Students” with the New York State School
Boards Association of New York State and the New York State Council of
School Superintendents, among others.

A School Mental Health Resource and Training Center will be established and
available to all New

York state public and private schools at no cost for a period of three
years, according to a MHANYS release about the Resource Center. The center
will help schools identify evidence-based resources to develop mental
health curricula and provide resources and guidance to support schools’
ability to comply with the required mental health education of students.

[image: ‘We want to make sure that as we ramp this up there is a
significant sea change in the way we think about schools and mental health
care.’ Glenn Liebman]

The Mental Health Advisory Committee, co-chaired by MHANYS and the state
education department, is made up of about 40 experts around the state. “We
have a very good advisory committee that’s working in collaboration with
state educators. The partnership between the education and mental health
advocacy community has been very successful,” he said.

Liebman added, “We want to make sure that as we ramp this up there is a
significant sea change in the way we think about schools and mental health

Glenn Liebman, CEO


Translate »