New York’s Assembly has passed legislation to require that health education in schools includes mental health.
A companion bill is poised for a Senate vote. It would take effect in July 2018.
Lawmakers have inserted similar requirements in the law concerning health education about alcohol, drugs, tobacco, and the prevention and detection of cancers.
Sponsors say curriculums about the importance of mental health and challenges of mental illness will help students more recognize the signs and seek help when it’s needed.
The Mental Health Association says 50 percent of students with emotional or behavioral disorders drop out of high school, while many others don’t graduate.
While 20 percent of adults and children have a mental health diagnosis, the association says almost two-thirds of adults who need services don’t get them.