Thursday, 09 May 2019 14:28

Schools may be required to teach mental health

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AUGUSTA (WGME) - Mental health education could be the newest lesson for Maine students as the result of a bill state lawmakers passed earlier this week.

Supporters said the bill is a step in the right direction in the effort to remove the stigma around mental health issues.

 

The bill requires mental health education in all curriculums, from elementary to high school.

 

Sen. Brownie Carson, who sponsored the bill, said he believes it is important to teach youth how to talk about mental health and the discussions will help them be more mindful of their own wellbeing.

 

Workers at NAMI Maine, a mental health advocacy organization, said they support the bill 100 percent.

 

"Mental health is the same as physical health. We educate our children about having a healthy diet and having healthy exercise. That impacts their mental health as well. And again we're losing more and more 10 to 14 year olds to suicide," NAMI Maine Director of Community Programs Hannah Longley said.

 

"It's important that we focus on that and we focus on them promoting their own wellness and supporting it themselves and supporting each other," she said.

 

The bill will now go to Gov. Janet Mills, who has 10 days to sign or veto it.