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Many Recommend Teaching Mental Health In Schools. Now Two States Will Require It

The Huffington Post – Christine Vestal

“Amid sharply rising rates of teen suicide and adolescent mental illness, two states have enacted laws that for the first time require public schools to include mental health education in their basic curriculum. Most states require health education in all public schools, and state laws have been enacted in many states to require health teachers to include lessons on tobacco, drugs and alcohol, cancer detection and safe sex. Two states are going further: New York’s new law adds mental health instruction to the list in kindergarten through 12th grade; Virginia requires it in ninth and 10th grades.” (more)

Big rise seen in U.S. kids, teens attempting suicide

Medical X-Press – Alan Mozes

“In a troubling sign that anxiety and depression are taking hold of America’s youth, new research shows a doubling since 2008 in the number of kids and teens who’ve been hospitalized for attempted suicide or suicidal thoughts. Study author Dr. Gregory Plemmons said the findings “are not surprising,” and that “colleges have also reported a dramatic increase in the prevalence of anxiety and depression among students and in use of counseling services.” But is the risk for teen suicide actually growing, or are more vulnerable teens going to hospitals than in the past? Plemmons said it’s hard to tell.” (more)

Why Teenagers Should Understand Their Own Brains (And Why Their Teachers Should Too!)

NPR – Elissa Nadworny

“A teenage brain is a fascinating, still-changing place. There’s a lot going on: Social awareness, risk-taking, peer pressure; all are heightened during this period. Until relatively recently, it was thought that the brain was only actively developing during childhood — but in the last two decades, researchers have confirmed that the brain continues to develop during adolescence — a period of time that can stretch from the middle-school years into early adulthood.” (more)

When Teens Cyberbully Themselves

KQED News Mind/Shift – Juli Fraga

“During the stressful teen years, most adolescents experience emotional highs and lows, but for more than 20 percent of teenagers, their worries and sad feelings turn into something more serious, like anxiety or depression. Studies show that 13 percent to 18 percent of distressed teens physically injure themselves via cutting, burning or other forms of self-harm as a way to cope with their pain.” (more)

A Multipurpose Lunch Group

Edutopia – Ryan Wheeler

“Group work has long been used by school counselors and teachers to help build soft-skills capacity for struggling students. Lunch groups are another way to help foster these positive interactions so that students gain skills and form bonds during a time of communion.” (more)

More US schools consider allowing students to use cellphones

The Christian Science Monitor – Carolyn Thompson

“Cellphones are still absent from most US schools but new data shows them steadily gaining acceptance as administrators bow to parents’ wishes to keep tabs on their kids and teachers find ways to work them into lessons. The percentage of K-12 public schools that prohibited cellphone use was about 66 percent in 2015-16, down from more than 90 percent in 2009-10, according to data from a survey conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics. Among high schools, the shift over the same period was especially striking – dropping from 80 percent with bans to 35 percent.” (more)