All schools in New York will be conducting mental health classes for students above 3 years of age. This would be a part of their health education curriculum starting this autumn.
Since a new law was implemented in New York on July 1, these classes would be mandatory for all elementary, middle, and high school students. The subject would be a part of the physical education and health classes.
The idea behind this is to enable students to understand emotional and mental wellness as well as guide them on the right time to seek help for others and themselves.
With this, New York will be the first state to launch these classes for all grades in all schools. Though the schools will be given a certain amount of freedom to design the curriculum and chapters, there will be some amount of decision-making power given to the New York State Mental Health Education Advisory Council.
According to the council, nine key points are compulsory to be taught in the class, some of which include identifying the signs of mental health issues, resources for help and support, and getting rid of the negative stigma surrounded mental illness.
About 40 million adults in the US of 18 years and above suffer from anxiety disorders every year, according to a study by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. In children, the numbers are similar and maybe a bit more that adults.
A recent survey by World Health Organization this month, found that one in three college freshers have reported of mental health disorders.
According to the mental health experts, these problems should be discussed in schools to help students gauge the disorders they are suffering from, and provide timely resources for support. With New York leading the way into this, there might be some other states following suit.