Students across Illinois are now able to take up to five excused mental health days. This started on January 1, 2022.
Under a bill signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker in August, 2021, students who decide to take a mental health day will not be required to provide their school with a doctor’s note and will be able to make up any work that was missed on their day off.
“Having this now for all students across the state will be really beneficial, especially with what’s going on with COVID,” State Rep. Barbara Hernandez, who co-sponsored the bill, told the Journal-Courier. “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.”
At Leyden High School District 212, several students have already taken advantage of this new law.
But a review of the Leyden SD 212 website https://www.leyden212.org/leyden reveals no reference to the new law nor any guidance to the students or parents regarding the implementation of the law. Unlike other Illinois school districts which notified students and parents regarding the new law in December and provided guidelines as well as information as how to access mental health and social work services, SD 212 has remained silent.
An inquiry with the administration of the District reveals an in-ability to provide an implementation policy. Currently Leyden students taking “mental health days” have received unexcused absences in contravention of the Illinois law. The deans of Leyden School District 212 have never been briefed by the administration or provided with an implementation plan.
Answers and advice to parents is not forthcoming to the parents of SD 212, nor for that matter any of the school districts in Leyden Township. Are the Superintendents not supportive of the mental health needs of their students or have the school districts over looked this important need for children to have a break when they are experiencing a significant decline in their mental health ?
Could your child use a break? Here are 10 mental health signs to look out for
Neither you nor your child has to experience a significant decline mental health in order to benefit from a mental health day. Taking a break to relax, rest, and play is a good idea for all of us.
But if you notice any of the following signs or symptoms in your kid, it could mean their mental health is suffering. Talk to your pediatrician if you’re worried about your child’s:
- Persistent sadness (lasting for two weeks or more)
- Withdrawal from social interactions
- Self-harming behaviors
- Discussions about death or suicide
- Unusual or extreme irritability
- Escalating, high risk behaviors
- Drastic change in mood, personality, weight, and/or eating or sleeping habits
- Frequent headaches or stomachaches
- Problems concentrating
- Sudden change in academic performance and/or truancy
If this can happen to Miss America we Ned to pay more attention to our students in Illinois as well as in Leyden Township . See the link: