Students around America are now allowed to miss school due to “mental health days”.
Several states across the US have enacted laws that allow students K-12 to take mental health days.
According to the Child Mind Institute, a mental health day is “a day off from school to rest and recharge”.
Utah was the first state to enact mental health days and states like Colorado, Virginia, and Illinois followed.
The days of truancy officers are now over…
— Chalkbeat (@Chalkbeat) July 26, 2022
Chalk Beat Chicago shared these details:
With working 25 hours a week at her minimum wage job at an ice cream shop, juggling a stressful workload with AP and honors classes, and dealing with anxiety, sometimes Jones College Prep sophomore Meghan Cuddy just needs a break.
“I feel depressed and miserable a lot of the time in my life,” said Cuddy. “ When I don’t go to school or specific classes, I’m definitely more upbeat than I would typically be. A lot of my misery is derived from specific classes like my math class.”
Like other students in Illinois, Cuddy is now able to take up to five excused mental health days, after a new law went into effect at the beginning of the calendar year. The law came at a critical time as youth are experiencing the mental effects of the pandemic and rising violence in Chicago.
A bill proposed in the Ohio House would give K-12 students three mental health days a year, defining mental health days as a “school day during which a student attends to the student’s emotional and psychological well-being in lieu of attending school.”https://t.co/1O0qNft2pc
— Honesty For Ohio Education (@Honesty4OhioEd) July 25, 2022
The Center Square chipped in too:
Ohio could join 11 other states and allow students to miss school if they feel the need to stay home that day for their mental health.
A bill proposed in the Ohio House would give K-12 students three mental health days a year, defining mental health days as a “school day during which a student attends to the student’s emotional and psychological well-being in lieu of attending school.”
“We need to break the stigma surrounding taking care of our mental health,” said Rep. Jessica Miranda, D-Forest Park. “With this legislation, we’re letting our children know that prioritizing their mental health is not only acceptable, it’s critical for achieving a healthy lifestyle. This mindset will help them succeed in school and beyond.”
House Bill 619 would open the door for districts to create student mental health day policies, allowing for up to three days of excused absences. If a district allows the days, it must allow them in each of its buildings.
Also, districts could establish an in-school mental health program for students to attend instead of regular classes.