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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: January 13, 2023 11:08 AM
From: Representative Tim Briggs
To: All House members
Subject: Adding Mental Health Education to Primary and Secondary School Curriculum
Mental health affects overall well-being and should be an integral part of the health education curriculum in all schools.  Sadly, over 90% of youth who die by suicide suffer from a diagnosable and treatable mental illness.

My legislation requires the addition of mental health education into existing health and wellness curricula for all primary and secondary schools under the jurisdiction of the Department of Education.  Mental health education will be taught in order to establish parity between physical and mental health.

By ensuring that young people learn about mental health, we increase the likelihood that they will be able to recognize signs in themselves and others and seek help.  As we begin to teach the facts about mental health and discuss issues openly, we will help remove the stigma surrounding mental illness that causes ostracism and isolation, leads to bullying, and keeps many students from getting the help they need.

Health education that respects the importance of mental health and challenges of mental illness will help young people and their families feel more comfortable seeking treatment, improve academic performance, and save lives.

We need to join states like New York and Virginia and enact this legislation to educate students on the importance of mental health as well as eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health.

Introduced as HB472