Opinion: mental health days can lead to laziness and procrastination

Grahm Staib, Writer

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Life is stressful. This is a universal truth that will always be around as long as society exists. When this is factored with an educational system that is based on competition, which breeds pressure to succeed that leads to stress, it is understandable why some students want a stress-free day, or “mental health day”. The problem is that this stress never goes away, as our economic system was also founded on the basis of competition. So instead of learning to embrace the stress at a young age, it will always feel like you need a day off.

According to NPR, the new mental health days laws will prompt students to find more excuses to miss school. Beginning a habit of taking a day off school to skip a test, or taking a day off because you didn’t finish your homework can lead to lazy habits in the workplace. Creating a pattern of fighting through these adversities, rather, will lead to perseverance in the workplace. 

Mental health days are also proving to be ineffective; According to Forbes, two-thirds of employees report stress-levels returning to normal after a couple of days after taking a mental health day.

There will be days you have to stay up all night to finish something for work, you can’t just take a day off to finish it. The problem with our schooling system is that deadlines can be pushed back if a student was not present, but in the professional world, this is not the case. Deadlines have to be met, even if you are sick. 

Although an increasing number of employers are offering mental health days, only 36% of employers currently offer mental health days, according to a survey done by the Society for Humane Resource Management. Meaning this strategy of reducing stress will not be transferable to the majority of workplaces.

If you’re going through a serious mental health problem, these points don’t adhere to you. Going through a mental health struggle is serious and you should take all the time you need to get yourself in the correct mental state. The point I’m trying to make is that stress will be present throughout life and you should learn to fight through it. Simply pushing the stress aside at the moment will not be helpful down the road, so facing the stress head-on will be the better method.

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