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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

After long battle, mental health will be part of New York's school curriculum

Bethany Bump
Times Union
Originally published January 27, 2018

Here is an excerpt:

The idea of teaching young people about mental health is not a new one.

The mental hygiene movement of the early 1900s introduced society to the concept that mental wellness could be just as important as physical wellness.,

In 1928, a nationwide group of superintendents recommended that mental hygiene be included in the teaching of health education, but it was not.

"When you talk about mental health and mental illness, people are still, because of the stigma, in the closet about it," Liebman said. "People just don't talk about it like they talk about physical illness."

Social media has strengthened the movement to de-stigmatize mental illness, he said. "People are being more candid about their mental health issues and seeking support and using social media as kind of a fulcrum for gaining support, peers and friends in their recovery," Liebman said.

Making the case

Advocates of the law want people to know they are not pushing for students or schoolteachers to become diagnosticians. They say that is best left to professionals.

Adding mental health literacy to the curriculum will provide youth with the knowledge of how to prevent mental disorders, recognize when a disorder is developing, know how and where to seek help and treatment, strategies for dealing with milder issues, and strategies for supporting others who are struggling.

The information is here.