New Jersey unveils 2 new programs to address student mental health issues

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Gov. Phil Murphy announced two new programs to help address mental health issues among the state’s students.

The first program creates a working group of state and school officials, mental health professionals and advocates who will help schools identify students’ needs.

The second program gives each school a chance to designate a mental health first aid instruction. That person will be trained on the warning signs of mental health problems students may exhibit.

"Through these initiatives, it's my hope and our hope that this generation of young people will be prepared to cope with the stress and the challenges that life brings to communicate and connect with one another, to recognize when a friend needs help, and be able to ask for help when they need it themselves,” Murphy said when unveiling the new programs on Tuesday.

The working group – which will be led by the New Jersey Department of Education – will get started in the next few weeks.

A total of $6 million from mental health and opioid funding will be used to create the training program, which is set to begin in the fall.

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