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Date: June 16, 2016

 

For Immediate Release

Contact: Glenn Liebman, CEO
Cell: 518-360-7916
Office: 518-434-0439
E-mail: gliebman@mhanys.org
 New York State Legislature Passes Landmark Mental Health Education Bill

On June 15, 2016 the New York State Senate passed the Mental Health Education Bill. Last week it was passed in the New York State Assembly.

With a start date of July 2017, this legislation will require mental health to be taught as part of health classes in middle schools and high schools in New York State. Currently there are many schools that teach about mental health but there are also many that do not touch on the subject. Despite the fact that over twenty percent of students are directly impacted by mental health issues (not to mention all the students and school personnel that are indirectly impacted by mental health issues) students can go through middle school and high school and never learn about depression or anxiety and the importance of suicide prevention.

The numbers speak out for this change:

·         One in every 12 high school students attempts suicide.

·         Over 60% of students with serious mental health issues do not graduate high school.

·         One-half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14.

According to Glenn Liebman, CEO of Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc. (MHANYS), “the best way to eradicate mental health issues and end the stigma of mental illness is through prevention and education. This bill will help create a better understanding of mental health issues and wellness at a younger age.

We thank the Assembly and Senate for their leadership in the passage of the Mental Health Education Bill. We especially want to acknowledge the leadership of the Education Chairs who were sponsors of the bill – Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan and Senator Carl Marcellino.”

According to MHANYS’ Public Policy Director, John Richter, “students will now have access to potentially life-saving knowledge necessary for recognizing the signs and symptoms of mental health problems in themselves and others and how to get help before a possible crisis occurs.”

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The Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc. (MHANYS) is a not for profit organization comprised of 26 affiliates in 52 counties throughout New York State. The mission of MHANYS is to promote mental health and recovery, eliminate discrimination, and raise public awareness with education and support.

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