The Necessity of Mental Health Days


Have you ever felt stressed and overwhelmed? Have you ever just wanted to take a day off to clear your mind? Mental health days benefit students by giving them the opportunity to stay at home so they can pull themselves together and get themselves in a healthy state of mind before returning to school. 

Some students need the few extra days each year to get themselves in order. Often, parents do not allow their child to miss school, but providing optional mental health days can give kids the break they need. Some students do not have the courage to tell their parents about the stress and weight on their shoulders.Today, if a person takes a day off from work or school to get him/herself in a better state of mind in order to be more productive in the future, he/she is often immediately associated with being lazy. But there are points in people’s lives when they need to take a break before returning to their daily, tedious activities. 

Mental health days can help with stabilizing emotions, lessening the symptoms of mental disorders, and relieving stress. These days are meant for students to use when they are feeling depressed, down, stressed, or anxious. It is, however, inevitable that students to try and take advantage of the system. This is why parents will need to be responsible and make sure their children do not take advantage of the system.

Some signs that students/adults show when they are long overdue for a mental health day are that they stop communicating with others or seem as if they cannot handle being around others. Their sleep schedule is disrupted, and they cannot seem to get a grip on their emotions. Another sign include the inability to focus on one activity at a time. When people are not enjoying any of their work or getting sick daily, it is time for a break.  

“Honestly, having a day without moving around every 40 minutes to take in new material for a variety of classes would be nice. In my opinion, doing the same thing every day is so miserable and stressful. Having tests and quizzes being stockpiled every week is torture. Students often stay past their tenth period class due to after school activities. Studying and doing homework is also very time consuming. These things take away a student’s free time to relax, maybe watch a show, play video games, sleep, or hang out with friends. Weekends are nice and all, but one of the worst feelings is waking up on Monday and realizing that you are going to have to do the same routine for the next five days. When used right, mental health days could be a good addition, giving students the option to relax and gather themselves,” stated sophomore Noelle Demasi. 

Likewise, other students recognize the necessity of mental health days. “I support mental health days because schools have to take into consideration that mental health is a real thing. It is an everyday challenge that students, like us, must deal with. Mental health days will allow students who struggle with traumas and anxiety to be heard and seen,” said senior Shania Durandisse. 

With all the pressures of high school tests, homework, and extracurricular activities, students can fall victim to depression and anxiety. According to a Pew Research Center article ( entitled, “Most U.S. Teens See Anxiety and Depression as a Major Problem Among Their Peers,” 70% of teenagers believe that anxiety and depression are major problems among peers. 

States such as Oregon have passed laws that allow mental health days to be excused absences, which is a result of Oregon’s high suicide rate. With many kids and adults taking their own lives, Oregon took a stand and passed the new law in hopes of lowering the suicide rate. On July 1, the law went into effect and gives students five mental health days in a three-month period.  

With mental health days, students feel more open to talk about the stress and difficulties they may be experiencing. Guidance counselor Melissa Mar states “If your depressed or stressed out, your mind set isn’t focused on lessons in school. I think mental health is a priority. Students need to be in a good mental state to perform well academically.” Hopefully, with the addition of mental health days, students will start talking more and feeling more open, which may save some students’ lives. Nyah Torres, a sophomore, stated,  “The school should definitely add these days [as excused absences]. I personally would like one day so that I can relieve my stress.”

The benefits of excused mental health days will help to stabilize people’s emotions. These few extra days are a crucial necessity for students and need to be taken into account.