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This week, the Florida State Board of Education voted to require public schools to provide students with mental health education.  According to TheHill.com, the department said in an announcement that schools will be required to “provide students in grades 6-12 at least five hours of mental health instruction” on an annual basis.

The instruction will be related to youth mental health awareness and assistance. The curriculum will also focus on providing students with an “awareness of signs and symptoms, process for getting or seeking help for themselves or others,” as well as an awareness of accessible mental health resources, including the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, the department said.

TheHill.com reports that the Commissioner of Education, Richard Corcoran said in a statement that “This is just the beginning. It’s no secret that mental illness robs students of the ability to reach their full potential, and we are joining forces to combat this disease and give our students the tools they need to thrive.”

“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 – all because of the Governor’s and First Lady’s remarkable vision. As usual, we will be a model of innovation and reform for other states to mimic,” he continued. “First Lady DeSantis has taken the lead to get the ball rolling with her recent Hope for Healing launch, and we are building on the momentum of her great leadership.”

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