The law was voted in on July 17 by the state’s Board of Education. The ruling will require all students in grades 6 through 12 to take a minimum of five hours of mental health classes each year, shared Commissioner of Education, Richard Corcoran. The classes must include information about recognizing the signs of mental health issues, how kids can seek help and treatment for their issues, and resources like the National Suicide Prevention hotline.
“This is just the beginning. It’s no secret that mental illness robs students of the ability to reach their full potential, and we are joining forces to combat this disease and give our students the tools they need to thrive,” Corcoran said in a press release.
Florida’s First Lady, Casey DeSantis, launched Hope for Healing Florida in May, a multi-agency campaign addressing mental health and substance abuse.
On Twitter, DeSantis shared, “As I travel the state, I am hearing from many families and know that 50% of all mental illness cases begin by age 14, so we are being proactive in our commitment to provide our kids with the necessary tools to see them through their successes and challenges.”
More mental health education for our youth can only be a good thing, so we hope to see even more states follow suit soon.
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.