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Call 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) M–F, 7 a.m.–3 p.m. PT for free mental health info, referrals and support.

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We asked community members about the need for mental health education for our youth and what impact it could have (30-second survey). Here is a selection of answers.

“Mental health education for those in grades 1-12 would have a positive impact! By educating students, it will reduce the stigma around the topic, as it will be introduced at a young age and in a positive way. It will help those who may have a personal connection with mental health as well as the students who are unaware of the potential challenges it brings.”

“It would help to make them feel that they are not alone. That there are people who could help them see that there are ways to get help.”

“It would help kids know how to help themselves and others.”

“It could save lives.”

“It would have a large positive impact, because many kids could start to shows signs of some mental conditions but not understand what they are going through, and this education would help them earlier.”

“The impact I feel would be beneficial because there are so many people that don’t understand that they have symptoms of a mental illness and won’t know because they aren’t educated on the types of mental illnesses and their accompanying characteristics and traits. Teaching about mental health can also teach compassion and empathy for people with mental health needs.”

“It would definitely help. I had depression starting around 5 years old and had no one to tell about it. I would have loved to have someone at my school to talk to. Maybe then I would have had it easier instead of starting treatment at 21 years old.

“We should talk about depression and anxiety so that it is normalized and not such a secret. Let’s be open and honest with kids.”

“When taught well, it helps cultivate awareness and empathy. It gives people understanding of what may be happening inside themselves or friends or family members. It can give them words to use and advise on how to help and get help.”

“Being educated about mental health will promote ending the stigma, empower our youth to recognize and ask for the help they or someone they know needs. It will decrease homelessness and suicides. It will save lives.”

“It would save millions of children from developing serious mental illnesses. Teachers, students and peers will be able to spot concerns early on and help guide the individual to getting the treatment they need.”

“We need to empower kids to recognize when they are having a mental health issue. What it looks like, what it feels like. They need to be reminded often that it is ok to ask for help.. We need to give them the words to express their emotions. We. need to teach them tools to self-regulate and provide resources that are accessible to all. I believe this is where suicide prevention starts- normalizing mental health from a very young age.”

“A student with some education on the subject would not be totally blind-sided when later struck with mental illness, or when a family member or friend might become ill. True information taught early to all students will foster societal understanding of what mental illness is and isn’t and will reduce fear and stigma around the subject of mental illness.”

“Huge impact. Less illegal drug use, especially opioids. Less suicidal children.”

“I believe it would help the student, the family of the student and the teachers and staff to help better understand the student going thru a mental health challenge.”

“I would think it would bring awareness to children having feeling that they don’t understand. I was experiencing depression and insomnia and didn’t really know names of what I was experiencing or how to explain it to adults.”

“It may decrease fear of getting help.”

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