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New York State Education Department Seal

THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

Office of School Services

89 Washington Avenue, Room 319-M EB; Albany NY 12234

518-474-4817

To: 
District Superintendents
Superintendents of Public Schools
Administrators of Public, Charter, and Nonpublic Schools
From: 
Renee L. Rider
Subject: 
Mental Health Education Literacy: Linking to a Continuum of Well-Being Resources Now Available - Informative Document and Sample Power Point
Date: 
May 8, 2018

As outlined in the May 2018 New York State Education Department’s (NYSED’s) Board of Regents memo,1 Education Law §804 was amended by Chapter 390 (Laws 2016) and Chapter 1 (Laws 2017) clarifying that a satisfactory program in health education in accordance with the needs of pupils in all grades that includes the several dimensions of health is now required to:

• include mental health and the relation of physical and mental health; and

• designed to enhance student understanding, attitudes and behaviors that promote health, well-being and human dignity.

A Notice of Proposed Rule Making was published in the State Register for a 60-day public comment period ending April 7, 2018. At the May 2018 meeting, the proposed amendment was adopted and will become effective on July 1, 2018. Please check this site for further confirmation NYSED Board of Regents. To assist schools in understanding the new mental health law and its importance, the Department is pleased to announce the development of two new resources: a one-page informational document and a PowerPoint that schools can use to educate staff, students, families and communities NYSED Mental Health Education Resources.

Although Commissioner’s regulation §135.1 currently includes mental health instruction, these recent amendments will embed mental health instruction within the curriculum and provide an opportunity for schools and communities to further clarify and expand upon the concept of mental health and well-being in schools. To assist schools with implementation, the Department is pleased to announce a partnership with the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) and the Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc. (MHANYS). In August of 2017, the New York State Mental Health Education Advisory Council was established representing over 75 expert cross-disciplinary and cross-sector partners to inform and guide this important work and provide resources to the field. The NYS Mental Health Education Advisory Council continues to work diligently to develop additional mental health related resources and tools for supporting student mental health instruction and anticipates releasing these materials in June 2018.

Please share this Memo and link to NYSED Mental Health Education Resources with elementary educators responsible for teaching health education, and New York State Certified Health Educators responsible for health education at the secondary level. In addition to providing schools with an Instructional Guide supporting mental health education in the classroom, additional resources will be available on NYSED’s website by June 30, 2018 to support a comprehensive approach to well-being. Schools may utilize these resources or develop and/or adopt their own curriculum aligned with the New York State Next Generation Learning Standards, and tailor instruction and programs based on local level needs.

Thank you in advance for your assistance. Questions can be directed to the Office of Student Support Services at 518-486-6090, or StudentSupportServices@nysed.gov, or the Office of Curriculum & Instruction at (518) 474-5922 or emscurric@nysed.gov.

1 http://www.regents.nysed.gov/common/regents/files/518p12ppca1.pdf