by California State PTA Health and Community Concerns Commission
More middle and high schools throughout California should be receiving mental health information in their health curriculum. Thanks to a new law supported by California State PTA. Mental health education is one of the best ways to increase awareness and reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues. This information can also empower students to recognize signs they or their peers might need help and can encourage them to get the help they need.
SB 224 (Portantino) passed in October 2021 and was codified as Education Code Section 51925. Supported by California State PTA, this law requires each school district, county office of education, state special school, and charter school that offers one or more courses in health education to middle or high school students to include mental health instruction as part of the curriculum.
Though health education standards already included mental health, the new legislation takes things a step further to cover more serious conditions such as schizophrenia, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and bipolar disorder. The curriculum will explore the causes and symptoms of mental illness, treatment, and how to advocate for friends or family members who need help.
California State PTA supports age-appropriate social and emotional learning and mental health education for all students. Please click here to access our webpage devoted to mental health information and resources, search the keywords “mental health” in our Resource Library, or reach out to the Health (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Community Concerns (email@example.com) Commission for additional information