Good news for youth mental health, with Governor Newsom signing Senate Bill 224 into law. The bill from California State Senator Anthony Portantino was co-sponsored by NAMI California and will provide millions of California students with age-appropriate mental health education from qualified instructors.
“California is in the midst of a youth behavioral health crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Senator Portantino in a press release. “We need to keep these critical policies moving forward and end the stigma surrounding the discussion of mental health. Mental health education and training is one of the best ways to increase awareness and empower students to seek help.”
“The pandemic has revealed that we are not doing enough to protect the mental health of our children and youth,” said our Executive Director, Erin Raftery Ryan. “Now more than ever, we must ensure that our children and youth learn about mental health and get the support and care they need. We must work together on early intervention and prevention and provide as much support for youth mental health as we do for physical health. We thank Governor Newsom for signing Sen. Anthony Portantino’s SB224 bill to provide students with more mental health education.” Read the SB 224 bill language here.
Pictured: Ryan with Sen. Portantino on the day he was getting his portrait taken for our #FreeYourMe campaign launch on World Mental Health Day (October 10, 2021). Find out more about our work on mental health education.