Mental and Emotional Health Education Grades 6-12
“In Florida, quality mental and emotional health education has been identified as a high priority by Governor DeSantis, First Lady DeSantis and the Florida Legislature. For decades, Comprehensive Health Education has included mental and emotional health as part of required instruction through s. 1003.42(2)(n), F.S., but did not include an instructional time requirement or the assurance mechanisms to support and verify that mental and emotional health instruction was being delivered.
Florida Youth Risk Behavior Survey data documents that in 2017, 28% of Florida high school students reported feeling sad or hopeless for two or more weeks in a row; 14% reported purposely hurting themselves without wanting to die; 14% reported having seriously considered attempting suicide; 11% reported having made a plan to commit suicide; and 8% reported a suicide attempt.
Rule 6A-1.094121, F.A.C., was approved by the State Board of Education on July 17, 2019. This rule establishes a minimum of five hours of required instruction related to mental and emotional health education for students in grades 6-12 and institutes procedures for school districts to document planning and delivery of instruction. Decisions about which course(s) will be used to deliver this instruction and curricula will be determined at the school district level. The rule will be in effect for the 2019-20 school year.”
Leon County Schools has collaborated with Everfi to offer all students grades 6-12 five hours of instruction through the Mental Wellness Basics course. See below for more information.
“Mental Wellness Basics is a digital resource that introduces middle and high school students to mental health education. Stigma associated with mental health can have serious and negative impacts on help-seeking behaviors, and many mental health conditions and symptoms can be significantly lessened through prevention. Placing importance on mental health education in schools leads to less stigma and improves the overall mental health of students. The mental wellness activities and lessons in this program focus on the following:
- Supporting students in identifying threats to mental health early, and taking measures to increase factors that protect mental health.
- Introducing students to the experiences of others in order to develop awareness and empathy, reduce stigma, and provide facts on the prevalence and symptoms of mental health conditions.
- Fostering a mental health mindset to help students develop feelings of self-efficacy and skills that promote and model advocacy for self and others."
For more information about how required Mental and Emotional Health and Substance Abuse Use and Prevention instruction is being implemented at your child’s school, contact the school administration.