YOUR 3 CENTS: Should high schools offer mental health days?
In Oregon, a new law was passed allowing students to take mental health days as excused absences. This was a student-led initiative designed to remove the stigma associated with mental health. I wanted Your 3 Cents about students being able to take mental health days. You had some thoughts.
Donna said, “If it could potentially prevent a troubled teen from taking their own life, it is a very beneficial action. Kids are under more stress and pressures in these times, possibly but not restricted to, the use of social media. Of course, some kids may take advantage of it, but if it saves one life of a troubled child, it would be worth it. It's sad that teachers would view this as detrimental.”
Renee said, “All schools should have this policy.”
But all did not agree. Karen said, “I think kids need to learn how to deal with life. Go to school. If you're having trouble, report it to a Counselor or teacher. Get your parents involved. We can't coddle kids forever. They will become adults and most workplaces do not have mental health days.”
Ken pointed out, “This is going to backfire, like most of the other good things implemented to help those who need it. There will be more who use it as an excuse and schools will be helpless to do anything about those students. The educational environment will decay once more.”
My 3 cents? I agree with those who say if one life is saved then we should do it. The problem is, I’m not sure this would save one life. We do have sick days and counselors available to students. And who is to say just being home would help relieve whatever mental health issue is going on. Also, how is a mental health issue being defined? Too much stress, anxiety? I can’t imagine being able to verify who truly needed the day versus who was taking advantage. It just to me doesn’t seem like a thoroughly thought out solution. Now, in Oregon where this is taking place suicide is a leading cause of death among young people, and to their credit, they are trying to address that. It just seems like this may be an ineffective solution to a very real problem. And that’s my 3 cents.
If you have a rant or something positive you want to rave about I want to know! Give me a call at 423-643-9722 and give me your 3 cents.