SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to support mental health education in schools, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) is sponsoring legislation that helps school leaders identify, understand, and respond to mental health problems school children may face.
“Educating students about their mental health early in life will benefit them in the long term,” Stadelman said. “Many students will navigate difficult situations in a healthier way if schools are able to teach them and provide instruction on how to cope and respond with their mental health.”
House Joint Resolution 1 urges Illinois schools to provide education for all students in grades 6 to 12 on how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of addictions and mental illnesses, as well as provide instruction on how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.
One in six youth aged 6 to 17 experience a mental health disorder each year, and this legislation will urge schools to educate students on their mental health. As suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10 to 34 and the 10th leading cause of dead in the US, this measure works to provide students with instructions on how to identify, understand, and cope with mental health.
“I urge all schools in Illinois to educate children on the dangers of neglecting their mental health,” Stadelman said. “Giving them the necessary tools to combat negative mental health situations will help them grow and help fight the stigma that still surrounds mental illness.”
HJR 1 has been enacted by the General Assembly and is effective immediately.