VIRGINIA: These Teens Saw How Poor Mental Health Hurt Their Peers. So They Got a Law Passed.

May 25, 2018
News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News
State:  Virginia

The Washington Post

Virginia has passed a law requiring mental health education for ninth and tenth graders. Under the new law, the Virginia Board of Education must consult mental health experts and update the state’s health education protocol to include comprehensive mental health instruction. Support for the law was generated by local high school students, who lobbied for increased access to mental health resources in schools. “We know how private and how difficult it can be to deal with a mental illness, and we know that people are not going to always want to talk about what they’re going through,” said Alexander Moreno, one of three Albemarle student who pushed for the law. “But we do want to make it okay for people who are going through something . . . to go and seek out resources.” This fall, the Albemarle school district will launch a freshman seminar to help students navigate challenges commonly faced in high school.

Spark Extra! Learn more about the law.

Populations:  Youth, Adolescents
Settings:  Schools, High School
Planning and Implementing:  Policy and Legislation, Education and Training