Mental Health Days: New bill allows students 5 days off for mental health

New bill allows students 5 days off for mental heath


Miguel Cambrey, Entertainment Editor

A bill passed in Illinois labeled as Bill SB1577 that allows students ages 6 – 17 to take five mental health days off. The idea of the bill is for students to take a day off and recharge themselves, and to have a fresh start. “I think it can be beneficial to take a mental health day, but we have to be careful that students are not isolating or avoiding as a way of dealing with mental health concerns. It is very important that people reach out for help if they feel they need it,” Julie Godkin, social worker said. Vice Principal Matthew Ambrose finds it difficult to specify how keeping track of attendance will work “until we have a chance to fully implement the practice and see where the problems may lie.” Awareness of mental health has slowly been making its way throughout the nation, as well as in schools. “Mental health is very important, and schools should support it. Kids need time to take off from school when they are feeling overwhelmed, and mental health days is a perfect way to help,” Jorgen Nelson, junior said. Some students feel to have this perk of having five mental health days when a student is struggling is beneficial, and greatly valued.
“School can be really stressful with all these classes and homework, and as well as outside activities. It’s hard to juggle all these at once and sometimes people need a break. Everybody can get a mental break and it’s needed,” Andrew Austin, junior, said. Besides the mental health days, Nelson believes the school should be more welcoming.
“ I think the school can make the idea of mental health days more welcoming by having teachers promote that it is okay for students to take time off, and reach out for help,” Nelson said. The school’s social workers have an abundance or resources to provide to students who seek assistance in their mental health. “I want students to know we are here to help! If they are looking for support they can come to student services and we can help them find community resources. We will be running some additional groups for students and we have social workers and counselors who meet with students every day.” Godkin said. “ In addition to that we also have Hartgrove counseling center here at Central to provide additional mental health support to our students. If students are interested we can provide them and their parents the information for that option.”