Oregon made national headlines this week for a new bill allowing students to take a mental health day off from school. It was picked up by NBC News, the Today show, CNN, NPR and USA Today. Before this bill, students were only allowed to take a sick day for physical illnesses.
The bill aims to make it more acceptable for students and the public to recognize and seek help for mental health problems. It comes at a time when suicide rates in the nation gave consistently been veering upwards.
One of the bill student promoters has been Hailey Hardcastle. Hailey was quoted stating her reasons for pushing the idea, “You take a day off if you have a cold, because resting up will make you feel better, and if you’re having a really bad anxiety attack or you’re going through a bout of depression, taking a day off can make you feel better.That caused me to have a ton of anxiety, and so sometimes, throughout high school, my parents would let me a day off – a mental health day. I found it super, super helpful.”