TAMPA, Fla. — Florida schools are now required to teach mental and emotional health education to middle and high school students.
The Florida Department of Education voted in the new policy on Wednesday.
The rule requires Florida public schools to provide grades 6 through 12 with at least five hours of mental health education.
The teaching will include skills for good mental health, depression and suicide prevention, as well as the impacts of substance abuse.
Professionals counselors say teaching these coping skills to our youth is crucial especially in their teen years.
"Schools are the perfect place to demystify what behavioral health is, provide that level of education and support, and really teach kids because kids will then teach their families," said Clara Reynolds, Crisis Center of Tampa Bay CEO.
Districts are required to submit implementation plans by December 1.