Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Florida students must now take 5 hours of mental health instruction

Posted By on Wed, Jul 17, 2019 at 4:41 PM

  • via Government of Florida/Wikimedia Commons
Florida students now have to take at least five hours of mental health instruction — a new requirement in line with First Lady Casey DeSantis' mental health campaign.

The State Board of Eduction voted on the new mandate Tuesday, which will apply to students from 6th to 12th grade.

"Ron and I have traveled the state and have heard from many families who voice concern about the struggles that adversely affect so many of our children," Casey DeSantis said in a statement. "We know that 50 percent of all mental illness cases begin by age 14, so we are being proactive in our commitment to provide our kids with the necessary tools to see them through their successes and challenges."

The new mental health instruction will teach students how to spot signs and symptoms of mental illness, give guidelines on how to speak to peers who may be struggling, and provide information on what resources students should turn to for help, according to an eduction department statement.

Gov. DeSantis has urged more action on mental health since two survivors of the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland committed suicide in March.

In May, Casey DeSantis launched her "Hope for Healing" campaign, which targets children and families suffering from mental health and substance abuse across the state.

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