Good news: State Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – La Cañada Flintridge) has introduced SB 224 to require all students in California receive age-appropriate mental health education.
The bill, which NAMI California co-sponsored, ensures that students in grades 1 and 12 will receive mental health education from a qualified instructor at least one time during elementary school, one time during middle school, and one time during high school. The bill requires instruction and related materials are appropriate for use with pupils of all races, genders, sexual orientations, and ethnic and cultural backgrounds, as well as students with disabilities and English learners. Educational topics include but are not limited to the overarching themes and core principals of mental health.
Our CEO, Jessica Cruz, added: “Mental illness impacts families, individuals and communities across our state on a daily basis. Schools are one of the first points of contact where students show early signs and symptoms of an onset of mental illness. In order to change our culture in how we respond to mental illness, we must educate students early and often. With suicide rates in young adults at an all-time high, it is more important than ever that we implement curriculum that will help connect students and families to the appropriate resources and treatments available.”