Student Support Services

Brief Survey to Complete Supporting Mental Health Education in Schools

To:          District Superintendents
               Superintendents of Public Schools
               Administrators of Public, Charter, and Nonpublic Schools
From:     Renée L. Rider, Assistant Commissioner
               Office of Student Support Services
               Mary Cahill, Director of Curriculum and Instruction
Date:      August 22, 2017
Subject: Brief Survey to Complete Supporting Mental Health Education in Schools

The Department would like to highlight recent amendments to Education Law §804 made by Chapter 390 of the Laws of 2016 and Chapter 1 of the Laws of 2017 which recognize instruction in mental health as a vital component of the required health education program.

Effective July 1, 2018, Education Law §804 will require that health education programs recognize the multiple dimensions of health by including mental health, and the relation of physical health and mental health to enhance student understanding, attitudes and behaviors to promote health, well-being and human dignity. Although Commissioner’s regulation §135.1 currently includes mental health instruction, these recent amendments provide an opportunity to further clarify and expand upon the concept of mental health and wellness in schools.

We are also pleased to announce a partnership with the Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc. (MHANYS), the primary mental health advocacy organization, and their assistance in developing an NYS Advisory Council and a brief survey to further inform our work. MHANYS will collect and compile responses from this survey, so that together we can provide schools with the necessary resources to continue supporting the positive mental health and well-being of our students.

Therefore, please share this Memo and survey link below with health educators and coordinators, school social workers, school counselors, school psychologists and school nurses to complete, as their input is valuable. Please complete this Survey by September 20th at

Thank you in advance for your assistance. Questions can be directed to the Office of Student Support Services at 518-486-6090, or

Last Updated: August 22, 2017