Go Ahead, Take a Mental Health Day

Breanna Leahy

Representation of parent talking to their child about mental health

We tend to put our mental health second which is why it is very important to take mental health days. Not taking mental health days from school has negative effects. Some effects include struggling to do school work, feeling like there is something wrong with you and in some cases suicide.

Your mental health is just as important as a broken bone and should be given time to heal. I asked Caitlyn Leahy, a senior at UW La Crosse, to explain how she felt when she went to school when her parents said she wasn’t allowed to stay home. She said, “I would see everyone else and be jealous of how they would be fine, while I was struggling, which then made me feel although there was something wrong with me, and my thoughts would spiral from there”. 

The national suicide rate has climbed more than 30 percent since 1999. Making mental health days more acceptable and not frown upon could have saved the life of a 14 year old girl. In the Newsela article, Teens fight for new law giving Oregon students mental health days, her mother said, “because she lied to get her absences excused, we didn’t get to have those mental health conversations that could have saved her life”.                                                     

People may think that mental health days should not be allowed since academics are so important. But how are students supposed to learn when their mental health is so bad? Students are told to stay home when they are sick and are  allowed to make up their missing work when they come back. So why are mental health days any different? Students could make up their missing work when they return and are in the mental space to do it. Otherwise, they are at school having a difficult time paying attention. 

Taking mental health days is so important. It gives your body time to rest and heal. Making mental health days more acceptable could be life saving. Students would realize that they are not the only ones struggling and talking about mental health would bring more awareness to it.