Ismael Garcia Chairez
New Mexico Ranks Fourth Highest in Suicide Rates, Mental Health Awareness Needed In Schools
According to SB 202, mental disorders are one of the leading causes of suicide attempts. New Mexico ranks as the fourth highest state for suicide rates, indicating a need for increased mental health awareness in schools. Mental disorders can have a significant impact on a person's emotional, psychological, and social well-being, and the education system often lacks sufficient support for students experiencing such issues.
To address this pressing concern, Senator Anirudh Nanda and Representative Tristan Dons, who represent the Albuquerque Institute of Math and Science, are taking action to introduce "Genius Hour" into all APS elementary schools. This initiative aims to provide teachers with the necessary tools to recognize symptoms of mental disorders in their students.
The "Genius Hour" initiative requests appropriations of $70 million to pay teachers an extra hour of work per day. Funding for this bill will be received through The Extended Learning Time Program Grant, as well as The Title I Act. If passed, this initiative will be implemented in July 2023.