Opinion: Mental health days are necessary for student health


Riann Masi, Writer

Depression and anxiety affect students in their everyday lives in and outside of school. Many issues such as students’ home lives, large amounts of classwork, and relationships can contribute to anxiety and mental health problems. Students need time to heal and get their minds ready for stress that will inevitably come again. Creating days for students to take time to focus on themselves and their health—mental health days— can solve more problems than ultimately create. 

An article Written by Natalie Proulx in the New York Times explains how lawmakers in the states of Oregon and Utah have recently recognized the importance of students’ mental health by noticing the rise in student anxiety in past years. If this system is working in Utah and Oregon, it could work for other areas as well. More states should follow Utah and Oregon in finding ways to provide for students affected by mental health issues.

While students are also facing depression, anxiety, and different forms of stress from their lives inside and outside of school, they still participate and learn while in the school building. According to the Association for Children’s Mental Health, nationally 40 percent of highschool students suffer from emotional, mental, and behavioral health issues. In every school, around 33 percent of the student population suffers from some sort of depression. Mental health days will provide these students time to recover from classroom stress. 

The Consumer News and Business Channel said in an article that students under the new law in Utah will be allowed five excused absences in every three-month period, which includes both “sick days” and “mental health days”, but anything beyond this amount students will need a written doctor’s note to be excused. These days do not differ from regular sick days. These Mental health days will give students adequate time to finish work without feeling overstressed.

For students, being able to take a break from stressful, anxiety-filled days at school gives them more time to recover from the forceful curriculum in classes. All students have problems affecting their mental health from inside and outside their school’s campus that could affect them mentally; giving them a break is necessary for their health.Mental health days could solve more problems than cause for students and teachers throughout the school year.