Schools around New York set to boost mental health education

Posted: Updated:
RONKONKOMA -

Schools around the state will place additional emphasis on mental health education this year.

"There is clear evidence to not only suggest but to fortify the fact that these kids need this," says Michael Hynes, the superintendent of the Patchogue-Medford School District.

He says kids are under intense pressure from testing, social media and other factors that can have a detrimental effect on their mental well-being. 

So Hynes supports new regulations from the state Department of Education that require schools to teach students more about mental health.

Mental health professionals say the new programs should help identify kids who need counseling earlier.

Hynes says in his district, educators are putting more emphasis on things like free play and exploration and discouraging kids from focusing on television and video games. And the district is hiring more counselors. 

"That is what I want to hear," says Connie Beltrani, of Ronkonkoma.

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