Last Friday, Governor Phil Murphy signed Senate bill S2861 into law, requiring all New Jersey public schools to include mental health instruction in K-12 health curriculums. Sue Devlin, Executive Director of Northern New Jersey-based behavioral and mental healthcare organization CBH Care, issued the following statement praising this action:
"For many years, important subjects like sexual education were not taught in schools, to the detriment of students. Mental and behavioral healthcare is the next frontier in terms of important early childhood education. 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experience mental illness every single year, and these issues often first manifest in adolescents. That is why childhood programs which teach kids that these issues affect millions of people go a long way towards not only breaking the stigma associated with mental and behavioral health, but empowering young people with the tools to seek treatment.
This legislation is a great step towards empowering school districts to treat mental healthcare the same way we rightfully treat physical healthcare. I know, from CBH Care's partnerships with school districts and our adolescent-focused programs just how important it is for kids to feel like their health concerns are being taken seriously, and I hope this legislation will encourage more partnerships between the Department of Education and more community-based mental and behavioral healthcare providers."
CBH Care is the official provider of Bergen County's Intensive Family Support Services, and partners with school districts to provide school clearance child behavioral assessments for children who are suspended from school, and help these children to return to school or receive appropriate treatment. CBH Care hosts the year-round therapeutic after-school New Directions and Checkers programs for adolescents.
For more information on CBH Care's adolescent-focused after school programs, call 201-646- 0333 or visit www.cbhcare.com.