This fall, all New York students will be learning about mental health

Elementary, middle and high school students across the state of New York have a new topic on their educational agendas as they head back to class this fall: mental health.

On July 1, a new law took effect in New York, which adds a paragraph to the state’s Education Law mandating mental health as part of health education in schools. New York is the first state in the U.S. to require mental health to be taught as part of health education.

Mental health experts say it’s a big deal.

The stigma associated with mental illness and treatment for mental illness still exists, and is still a significant barrier standing in the way of more people seeking treatment for problems they face, Meredith Coles, PhD, professor of psychology at Binghamton University of the State University of New York, told NBC News BETTER. “It’s time to recognize that mental illnesses are real and treatable.”

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