Mental health days can provide respite to help students stay focused

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Do you ever feel overwhelmed, depressed, sunk in your own thoughts or even play the classic “I don’t feel good, can I stay home today” game? Does school play a major part in those feelings? 

Mental health is a person’s condition with consideration of their psychological and emotional well being. 

Many people don’t know how difficult it can be in the morning to get up and go sit in classrooms for hours. 

School is different than it once was, with the curriculum changing overtime and getting a lot tougher. Students are also doing more. At Delta, many students have part time to full time jobs or are caretakers for family members. 

We don’t have time for ourselves because school takes up all our free time. 

Over 80 percent of top university executives say that mental health is more of a priority than it was three years ago. The American Council on Education (ACE), conducted a survey on 400 college and university leaders. 

They found that 72 percent of the presidents indicated they had spent more money on mental health initiatives than they did three years ago, according to Insider Higher Ed. 

If top university executives are aware of the increase of mental health issues of students, we as students should have mental health days. 

Mental health days will give students the opportunity to take a day for themselves and get caught up without being penalized. 

A new law in Oregon allows students to take five days over a three month period to take mental health days off, according to CNN. 

Parents opposed the law stating students could take mental health days by pretending to be sick. 

But why should students have to lie to get a day off?

The truth is that students were likely already doing this, but had to call it a “sick day.” In addition, we are still penalized for the sick day. 

I used to pretend I was sick and cut school when school got tough. During the time it felt relaxing, I got to get a full eight hours of sleep, eat breakfast and catch up on school work. 

In school, we are very much overloaded with assignments that are due the next day as if that’s the only class we are taking. Knowing I had to wake up the next morning and get penalized at school and be drowned in the question: “Where were you?” 

Then came the anxieties associated with not getting extensions on assignments, or missing tests. 

Overall, mental health days are important to students. Students need a day to gather their thoughts instead of being drowned in them. 

When students are given mental health days, there could be  an increase in positive behavior, grades and — better yet — our well being.