Victory for New York State’s Children

Mental Health in Education Bill Signed by Governor Cuomo

Governor Cuomo began Mental Illness Awareness Week by signing the Mental Health in Education Bill. We want to thank our colleagues at MHANYS for leading the coalition effort around this bill and all of our advocates who projected their voice on this issue.

According to “New York’s schools will have to teach about mental health in their state-mandated health classes starting next summer.

The law signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo takes effect in July 2018. The 40-year-old mandate for health education already specifically requires teaching about alcohol, drugs, tobacco, and the prevention and detection of cancers.

Sponsors say the new curriculum will increase the likelihood that students recognize the signs of mental illness in themselves and others and seek help when it’s needed.

They say many students with emotional or behavioral disorders drop out of high school.

A federally funded study has estimated that half of Americans will meet the criteria for a mental disorder sometime in their lives, with the first onset usually in childhood or adolescence.”

Ending the Silence Still Invaluable For Teens

This is definitely a win for New York State. But we at NAMI-NYC Metro will continue to take Ending the Silence to public schools throughout the five boroughs. Helping middle and high school students understand mental illness makes a big difference. Ending the Silence teaches them about the warning signs for themselves and their friends, and helps raise awareness and change perceptions around mental illness.

Through this free classroom presentation, students get to see the reality of living with a mental health condition. During the 50-minute presentation, a young adult living with mental illness tells their story about mental health challenges, including what hurt and what helped.

If you are interested in scheduling an Ending the Silence presentation for your school, or would like more information, email