A new law is going into effect in Illinois that lets students take up to 5 excused absences for mental health reasons.
Illinois is the latest state to enact such a law that appears to be a byproduct of the coronavirus pandemic. Under the new law, starting in January, elementary, middle and high school won't be required to present a medical note and will be able to make up any schoolwork missed.
The co-sponsor of the new law says, "Many students feel stressed, and have developed anxiety and depression because they're not able to see teachers and friends and may have lower grades due to remote learning and the law will allow them to get the help they need.
Several other states have passed similar laws including Arizona. And there is evidence that it makes sense.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between March and May of last year, hospitals across the country saw a 24% increase in the number of mental health emergency visits by kids aged 5 to 11 years old, and a 31% increase for kids 12 to 17.
Let’s face it, the pandemic and isolation and maybe most of all the worry, the stress and the fear have an effect on all of us in one way or another. And the conflicts among families and friends over vaccinations and what different people believe about COVID increases the stress.
Taking some mental health days off could be a good idea for everybody.
(Photo Getty Images)