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South Florida schools host state mandated mental health lessons

Mandated Mental Health Education
Posted at 9:50 PM, Sep 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 21:50:40-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — As millions of children across the country show signs of dealing with anxiety or depression, schools are trying to help. Florida’s State Board of Education voted on this requirement two years ago, and now we are seeing the plan take shape.

We're hearing from parents, from Osceola Middle School and Loxahatchee. They shared the school's plan to host its first state mandated mental health lesson today.

The directive comes from the State Board of Education, which is requiring at least five hours of mental health instruction in every public school, between sixth and twelfth grade.

“Everyone had been talking and complaining about the same things, they felt like their voices weren't being heard,” said therapist Callie Reda.

The lesson plan addresses a wide variety of concerns, including depression, anxiety, trauma, loss and how to reduce the mental health stigma.

“These kids need to have an outlet and be able to feel like they can talk about the elephant in the room,” said Reda.

The conversations are led by school counselors with a shared goal of offering support, so students understand there's help available, both during the discussion and after.