- Recently, there is a rise in mental health conditions among school-going children and adolescents.
- School systems are planning to incorporate mental health days for students, in a bid to better their well-being.
Mental Health In Children
Research confirms that mental health disorders have skyrocketed in the younger section of the population, particularly school-going children and adolescents. A recent study claimed that nearly 15.4% of children have had one or more mental health diagnoses, with the most prevalent disorders being:
- Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Conduct disorders
- Learning disorders
- Anxiety disorders
- Eating disorders
- Sleep disorders
Why Mental Health Days Are Important
With the growing awareness around mental health, nations across the world have started incorporating mental health leaves in professional and academic arenas.
Known as “mental health days”, such holidays take into account poor mental health as a serious hazard to health and enable a person to take some time off to care for his/her psychological well-being.
While provisions for mental health days at the workplace have become a common occurrence, mental health days for students are rare. Especially in countries where a high value is placed on academic rigor, school systems refuse to recognize mental health as a legitimate reason to miss classes. However, as the stigmatization of mental health is being slowly done away with, this position is changing.
For instance, several states in the US (like New York, Massachusetts, Virginia, Connecticut, Florida, and Arizona) have passed legislation that allows students to take days off from school for mental and behavioral health reasons. These absences are treated the same as a school day missed for physical disease.
School Mental Health Days For Students
Experts agree that there are multiple benefits of mental health days for students. Such holidays can help them take some time off from their heavy schedules, address their mental health issues, and show up to school in their best selves.
This can also provide parents, guardians, and friends the opportunity to spend time with their loved ones struggling with mental health and support them in their recovery.
Moreover, child specialist doctors, educators, and activists have urged schools to incorporate mental health content in their health education curriculum so as to encourage mentally distressed children to slow down, heal, as well as enjoy mindfulness and stress relief.
In many ways, such a measure can ensure children’s sound psychological and emotional well-being and better quality of life in the long run.