Why did this take so long?
The Florida State Board of Education recently voted to require all students in the sixth grade and up to receive five hours of mental health instruction every year. Florida may have more than its fair share of questionable legislation, but this is highly commendable.
Florida isn't the first state to mandate such courses—New York, Virginia, and Maine all passed bills requiring mental health to be part of the required curriculum last school year, and more states are sure to follow suit.
It's a huge move in the right direction—and it's about dang time.
I taught in public schools fresh out of college, and even two decades ago I saw how much of a need there was for mental health education. Today, my thoughts on the matter are much more personal. Our oldest daughter spent much of her tween and teen years struggling with a mental health disorder called emetophobia—a clinical fear of throwing up. It got to the point in her mid-teens where she had a hard time doing normal, everyday things, like eating or being around people.