I was honored yesterday to participate in the annual Awards Luncheon of the Southern Tier MHA. The Southern Tier MHA and their director Keith Leahey are doing a wonderful job of spreading the word about mental health education as well as providing innovative programming in their community. Also, among yesterday’s well deserved award recipients was Sue Wheeler, the former MHANYS and Southern Tier MHA Board Chair.

As we get closer to implementation of the mental health education law, we will be unveiling our new website dedicated specifically to this issue including resources that will be available to educators and community members.

Teachers mandated to add mental health training to curriculum

By Vince Briga | June 27, 2018 @2:54 PM

ENDWELL, N.Y. — It’s a topic that’s at the forefront of the nation’s conversation.

The issue of mental health among students has been debated, but New York is taking action.

Starting July 1st, all health teachers in the state are mandated to add mental health education to their curriculum.

“If you can get as much information to the youth and to kids and to teachers, then the chances are that there’s going to be much more of an ability to seek treatment if you need treatment or just to find more information about mental health in general,” said Glenn Liebman New York State Mental Health Association CEO.

Students in grades K through 12 will be taught about the warning signs and what to do if they experience any mental health issues.

“We’re not trying to really dig deep. It’s not psychology 101 or anything like that, it’s just a basic knowledge about mental health, about anxiety and depression and suicide prevention,” said Liebman.

With teen suicide rates spiking, mental health experts say it’s important to get this message out early on.

“The sooner we’re able to identify an individual who may be struggling, the better off we’re going to be able to help them to lead healthy productive lives,” said Keith Leahey, Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier Executive Director.

The state’s mental health association hopes this education will help end stigma and increase awareness.

“If they have questions they can go to a mental health professional in the school, a teacher, a close friend, someone who they can confide in about their mental health issues,” said Liebman.

New York becomes the first state in the nation to pass such a law.

The state of Viriginia also passed a similar law, requiring 9th and 10th grade teachers to add mental health to their curriculum.


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