What to Know
- School districts will be able to choose the types of classes children will be able to take, according to a Department of Education official
Schools across the state of Florida will be required to teach students as young as the sixth grade about mental health in a move called a “life saver” by the state’s top educator.
The Board of Education proposed a change to the state curriculum that would require schools to teach at least five hours of mental health instruction, though it was not made clear if the measure would be enacted for the upcoming school year.
Requirements for the courses would include teaching the signs and symptoms of those with mental illnesses as well as how to help those battling with a disorder.
The program was pushed forward in part by First Lady Casey DeSantis, who has made mental health one of her top priorities in part due to the mass shooting inside Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February of 2018.
“We are going to reinvent school-based mental-health awareness in Florida, and we will be the number one state in the nation in terms of mental health outreach and school safety,” Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said in a prepared statement released to NBC affiliate WPTV-TV. “It is going to be a life-saver and it will reduce the stigma.”
School districts will be able to choose the types of classes children will be able to take, according to a Department of Education spokesperson.