As constituents of Washington state, we are writing to ask for your promotion and publicity of implementing a Mental Health Awareness week in K-12 schools in the month of May as proposed by The National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI). The goal of this week would be focusing on specific aspects of mental health education to enhance social-emotional learning inside and outside of school.
Current data estimates that one in six children will experience a significant mental health issue each year. As students at Gonzaga University, we know that mental and behavioral health and wellness are critical to a youth’s success in school and life. College was the first time we had access to a mental health program called “Cura Personalis”, which specifically focuses on care for the whole person.
This mental health awareness week also is a great opportunity to spread awareness on the recent passing of SB 5030 in Washington state. With this bill we will see major changes in school counselor competencies, like ensuring 80% of counselors’ work provides direct and indirect services to benefit students. With students across the country struggling during a global pandemic, it is urgent that mental health education be implemented into our schools.
For these reasons, we encourage all K-12 schools to participate in this week. Please help us in campaigning for a Mental Health awareness week in the month of May. We encourage all who see this to spread the word and use the hashtag #NotAlone this month.