Mental health courses now required learning for Orange County students

New rule adds mental health instruction to health education courses

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County public school students will now have to take courses about mental and emotional health as a part of their general health education, according to the school district.

The new curriculum will be incorporated for the first time this school year, and is mandatory for all students in grades sixth through 12. Students will be required to take a minimum of five hours of instructional training.

The school district says it has established five days where students will receive an hour of classes relating to mental health: Feb. 4, 11, 20, 25 and 27. The district says classroom teachers will be giving the instruction.

According to the Florida Department of Education, mandatory topics covered in these classes include ways to recognize mental illnesses and disorders, prevention of mental health disorders, reducing the stigma surrounding mental health, awareness of resources and the prevention of suicide.

The school district says students will not be graded on the material.

Additional counselors will be on campuses for more student support during the days the classes are taught.

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