Friday, September 6, 2019
Today was a really big day for the mental health community. For the last year, we have been working on a bill for the Ohio legislature, together with Nancy Miller, Sara Bitter and Karena Cash from the organization 1N5. The bill would add mental health to the health education curriculum for Ohio schools. Last year, Virginia and New York implemented similar laws for their schools. They were the first two states to do so.
One out of five school-age children are affected by mental health conditions. We are working on this bill because our children need to learn, from an early age on and in an age appropriate manner, to understand and care for their own mental health. As part of their overall health and wellness. We also believe it is important for families members to understand this too. Our hope is that this will help normalize this topic by taking away the fear and shame that so many children and families feel regarding mental illness.
Today we had an opportunity to discuss this bill at an interested party meeting. We have been connecting with many people and organizations throughout the state in preparation for this meeting. We had a great turnout as we spoke with Representative Kelly (D) and Representative Brinkman (R) about the bill. We are very glad and thankful for their support. The bill is a bi-partisan endeavor.
For this bill to become law, we will need to find co-sponsors in the Ohio House and Senate. We need your help with this! Please reach out to your legislators to support this bill. Also, please reach out to us if you want to be part of this effort!