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There has been an increase in rates of mental cases and depression among young people, and now some states have moved to address the issue by offering students day-offs. In some jurisdictions, students have been on the fore to champion for a change of policy.

Day offs for students dealing with mental health issues

The states of Oregon and Utah have recognized the significance of the mental health of students by letting them take sick days off from school. In Oregon, students are given five mental health days off within three months, and they can use mental health as an excuse to miss school. 

Other states such as New York, Florida, and California have also lined legislative proposals towards the same. Recently Montgomery County school district took steps to let students cite mental health as the reason for their absence. Students championed the decision in Montgomery for months before a vote was passed last year.

The mental health issue is something that began being addressed almost a decade ago. The State of Minnesota then passed a law indicating that excused absences could be offered for mental health conditions requiring treatment. In 2018 the state of Utah changed the meaning of excused absence by including mental illness with physical illness.

Including mental health in the excused absence a huge win for students

According to experts, this is a huge milestone that will benefit students, especially those dealing with mental health challenges. This will empower students and let them manage their mental health. Mental health, especially depression, has become a huge problem among teenagers and anxiety in some results from climate change and politics.

Blacksburg High School’s Carson Hopkins indicated that it is a huge accomplishment to finally see some changes towards addressing the problem of mental health among students. Interestingly this tends to appear at a time when there is an increase in the number of suicides among young Americans.

Depression is a major problem among teens, and according to a report released last year by Pew Research Centre, almost 70% of teenagers indicated that depression and anxiety were common among peers.