Fresh on the heels of an historic legislative victory, which amended the State Education Law to require all schools in New York under the jurisdiction of the State Education Department (SED) to teach about mental health, MHANYS is setting its sights on the 2017 legislative session.

MHANYS intends to build on the Mental Health Education in Schools Act by continuing to advocate for legislation that will increase every school’s capacity to promote mental health literacy in students, educators and parents.

Therefore, MHANYS will again support Senator Jesse Hamilton’s and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo’s bill that would make provisions for increased mental health training for teachers.  S.6234-B (Hamilton)/A.9299 (Crespo) would require continuing teacher and leader education in mental health at least twice during the five-year teacher registration period.   The bill specifies that such training shall include best practices for the safe de-escalation of crisis situations, and identifying signs and symptoms, including the early stages of mental illnesses and situations that may necessitate timely notification of appropriate school officials.

MHANYS believes that students would benefit greatly if educators have increased mental health literacy.  The bill would complement the mental health education in schools legislation recently signed by the Governor by assuring that every school has teachers who themselves have an increased competency in mental health that they will be able to pass on to students.

– John Richter, Director of Public Policy

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