(NBC News) – In British schools there’s reading, writing and arithmetic.. and another “R” -relaxing.
The UK program includes 370 schools, tens of thousands of students learning about mental health, mindfulness, and how to get help.
Dr. Jessica Deighton is head of a Kings College London study. She says the program will become a valuable tool for the students.
“We’re looking to give them some skills and strategies that allow them to manage their mental health on a daily basis, that might help prevent problems later in life,” explains Dr. Deighton.
It’s estimated 10 percent of British kids have clinically diagnosable mental health issues. In the U.S., it’s 20 percent.
There’s no national standard for mental health education in the United States though at least nine states have laws requiring it to be part of the curriculum.
Dr Harold Koplowitz of the Child Mind Institute says more needs to be done.
“The most common illnesses for children under the age of 18 are mental health disorders,” explains Dr. Koplowitz, “If it could be done in the UK, certainly believe we could do it here in the United States it’s just a matter of if we’re going to have the will because we can certainly find the resources.”
In the UK, a year into the study they’re already seeing progress.