Most states have laws mandating health education in primary and secondary schools, but New York will be the first to emphasize mental health instruction for all grades. The move follows legislation signed into law in 2016 and slated to take effect in July 2018, in time for the new school year.
The first signs of mental health problems begin, on average, at about 14 years old, yet the average age that individuals seek help is 24. School-age children are particularly vulnerable, with 8 percent of students nationwide having attempted suicide in the past six months, according to the Mental Health Association in New York State.
Moreover, 60 percent of high school students who have a mental illness do not graduate from high school.
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