Would You Take a Mental Health Day at School?
For some students, taking a mental health day at school is a very real and dire possibility. However, a policy change by one California school district may soon help ease the burden.
Students living with mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, stress, and fatigue, are required to take a mental health day on campus. But according to the L.A. Times, some schools are no longer complying with the state’s mandated policy.
Experts have spoken out in support of the district’s proposed change.
The California Department of Education (CDE) allows schools to exempt students from having to take a mental health day, even after an emergency alert has been issued.
The California Department of Education allow these exceptions if an emergency leaves staff and students unable to safely manage the situation. School districts also take into account whether other students are affected by the emergency and whether they are in a crisis situation.
With the use of mental health personnel, methods of communication, and familiarity with the students and their families, allowing students to take a mental health day more often could provide relief to many students.
Here are some school districts that have changed their policies:
Los Angeles Unified School District
Berkeley Unified School District
The CSU system allows students to take mental health days during their semester break.
University of California regents approved a rule that allows students to take a mental health day in the middle of the semester.
California State University has previously provided a written policy on mental health days that ensures students are safe while attending school.
Salton City Unified School District allows mental health days after a “code red” incident.
California State University is also considering a policy that could allow students to take a mental health day after an incident occurs in a school campus. This policy would have to be approved by state health and human services agencies.
According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, as many as 10% of children and adolescents suffer from some form of mental health problem.