Following a new law that went into effect in New York on July 1st, it is now a requirement that all schools teach mental health as a part of health education classes. As early as this fall, all elementary school, middle school, and high school students will be learning about this topic. According to The Daily Mail, "The mandate is intended to help students understand more about emotional and mental wellness, and help them understand when to seek help for themselves and others."
Based off state guidelines, some key points include: the negative stigma regarding mental health, identifying signs of mental health issues and educating students on resources for help. The National Alliance on Mental Illness states that many mental health conditions start in adolescence. Half of all those living with mental illness start experiencing symptoms by age 14, while 75 percent of mental illnesses begin by age 24. One in five young people live with a mental health condition in the U.S. alone, but less than half receive treatment.
Mental health has become one of the largest topics in our country and even something that's starting to be addressed more in the music industry as well as hip hop community. Artists such as Mac Miller, Demi Lovato, XXXtentacion & Lil Peep are just a few creatives that we've seen battle with mental health conditions and sadly even some we've lost to this struggle.
I think this is definitely a step in the right direction for our education system and I hope to see other states follow this same path in the near future. During your adolescent years and growing into adulthood it can be a lot for individuals mentally and trying to understand who you are and your purpose. Hopefully this will encourage our youth who are experiencing mental health concerns to seek positive outlets and empower them to have a different outlook on the topic.
Above, Charlamagne Tha God embraces this new step and even acknowledges how he could have used this growing up!
Taraji P. Henson sat down with The Breakfast Club just 2 days ago to talk the importance of mental health and even shares how she seeks professional guidance herself.