Could Schools Start Enforcing Mental Health Days?


Courtesy of Marquette Messenger

Shae Perico

As many people have noticed teen mental health has been dropping at alarming rates. Depression rates in teens have increased by 56% in just 10 years! We have noticed that the rate for girls is slightly higher at 66% while boys are at 44%. Many parents, teachers and even students are hoping for schools to start doing mental health days off because school affects 61.5 percent of students mental health, however only 26.1 percent are acknowledging it and taking days off to improve their mental health.

I did a poll with 15 parents on whether we should have mental health days off of school, 12 of them think that mental health days are necessary, and only 3 did not agree on mental health days being necessary. The reason some of these parents said no could be because they think that their child could fall behind on school work, but mental health could be more important than school in some circumstances. If you allow your kid maybe just 1-2 days off of school this could save them from having their mental illness get even worse even though studying, working hard and getting good grades is extremely important so is your child knowing it is perfectly fine to take a day just for themselves to relax and slow down.

(Warning mention of suicide) The 2019 Youth Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System has shown us that in the past year 18.8% of students thought about committing suicide and 8.9% did do it. This is a huge problem and it needs to be fixed immediately. Here are some common signs your child could be having thoughts about committing, 1. Changes in behavior and eating habits. 2. Not as much interest in things they used to enjoy 3. Not being as social with friends and family 4. Sudden changes in behavior or behavior outbursts. Lastly, Neglecting one’s personal appearance. If your child has some of these symptoms you may want to speak to them about this.

I think that after learning all of these facts that we can all agree that these mental health days are EXTREMELY necessary and that schools should try enforcing them as soon as possible.