Mental & Emotional Health Education for Students
Beginning this school year, school districts must annually provide a minimum of five (5) hours of instruction to students in grades 6-12 related to youth mental health awareness and assistance, including suicide prevention and the impacts of substance abuse.
Using the health education standards adopted in rule 6A-1.094121, F.A.C., Student Performance Standards, the instruction for youth mental and emotional health will advance each year through developmentally appropriate instruction and skill building and must address, at a minimum, the following topics:
(a) Recognition of signs and symptoms of mental health disorders;
(b) Prevention of mental health disorders:
(c) Mental health awareness and assistance;
(d) How to reduce the stigma around mental health disorders;
(e) Awareness of resources, including local, school, and community resources;
(f) The process for accessing treatment;
(g) Strategies to develop healthy coping techniques;
(h) Strategies to support a peer, friend, or family member with a mental health disorder;
(i) Prevention of suicide; and
(j) Prevention of the abuse of and addiction to alcohol, nicotine, and drugs.
Charlotte County Schools Implementation Plan
The School Support and Learning Divisions collaborated to develop a plan to meet the five hour mental health education requirement through a combination of online learning, direct instruction from school based mental health staff, district created videos, and community partnerships with Charlotte Behavioral Health Center (CBHC) and Drug Free Charlotte County (DFCC). This plan will be implemented for the first time during the 2019/20 school year and includes the following:
Signs of Suicide will be provided by staff members from CBHC and supported by school based mental health staff. Signs of Suicide is a universal, school-based depression awareness and suicide prevention program.
Mental Wellness Basics (Everfi). Everfi is an online education platform. Charlotte County Schools will be using the Mental Wellness Basics Modules that will provide education on self-awareness, self-management, relationship skills, social awareness, and responsible decision-making.
Prescription Drug Safety (Everfi - High school only) The Prescription Drug Safety course through Everfi provides interactive scenarios and self-guided activities to help students learn about a range of topics, including the science of addiction, how to properly use and dispose of prescription drugs, and how to intervene when faced with a situation involving drug misuse.
Just the Facts (Middle School only) will be provided by staff members from DFCC. Students will be provided with research regarding drugs and alcohol as well as how they can affect the brain and body.
School Based Video will familiarize students with their school based mental health staff and ways to access supports/services for themselves and others.
Mental Health Coping Strategies/Personal Toolbox (High School) / Mental Health Coping Strategies/Personal Toolbox (Middle School) is presented by school based mental health staff and will assist students with recognizing and using effective coping strategies in a variety of situations.
The Teen Brain Slideshow and Videos (High School) Through this lesson students will learn the science behind brain development in regards to mental health, the difference between a teen and adult brain, and long term effects of alcohol, tobacco, and drug use.
The Teen Brain Slideshow and Videos (Middle School) Through this lesson students will learn the science behind brain development in regards to mental health, the difference between a teen and adult brain, and the coping strategy of cognitive restructuring (i.e. turning negative thoughts into positive thoughts)
Teen Mental Health First Aide (tMHFA) - (Grades 10-12 at The Academy and Charlotte Harbor Center) Students learn how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use
disorders among their friends and peers.