Plainview, New York — New York legislators are considering joining 10 other states to allow students to stay out of school.
The proposal is expected to be introduced in Albany this month. The intention is to make emotional health a health priority.
The stress of growing up, amplified by the isolation of the pandemic, has produced generations of anxiety and depression, and suicide is on the rise.
Walt Whitman High School in South Huntington is now offering counseling to students at a nearby emergency care center, removing the stigma of asking for help.
“Students who are probably struggling and need a day to get somewhere,” said senior Hasham Coudrey.
New York is looking even further. The bill would add mental health leave to schools, including sick leave.
“If parents think of mental health the same way they think of sick leave, they might allow it,” said Eliana Kazin, a senior at Walt Whitman High School. said.
Experts who work with teens say it opens up communication with parents and encourages life-saving interventions.
“If your child says, ‘I want to have a mental health day,’ you can take the opportunity to not only discuss it, but help the conversation about mental health become very natural. North Shore Family Guidance Center.
However, not all educators believe that an extra day of school is the most effective.
“As teachers and administrators, we 100% love and support our students and want to help them find the root cause of these mental health issues so they can help them solve them.” It becomes everyone’s mission to help.If tests or classroom assignments are the cause of student’ distress, teachers can find solutions. School social workers and guidance counselors can work with families and students to solve problems and make a positive impact. It may seem like it, but an extra day off won’t get you to the root of the problem. is a beneficial and correct solution,” said Dr. Shari Kamhi, Superintendent of Baldwin Union Free School District.
When asked if he thought students would use it, Coudrey said no, adding, “Especially because of the three to five day limit.”
State departments of education determine mental health day limits. All work must be configured. Plainview/Old Bethpage JFK High School has allowed it, and the principal reports no abuse of the system.
“Not at all. We have been able to identify students who are using more than they should. Got it, kid?” said Principal James Murray.
Proponents say it should be for teachers.
“Burnout is real. We think of burnout as a separate category, but it’s not. Burnout is the cumulative effect of the stressors in your life on your overall mental health. The impact,” said Eric Kussin of the #SameHere Global Mental Health Movement.
The proposal was introduced in Albany and has failed for four years, but proponents say there is renewed urgency, with data showing the pandemic’s dramatic impact on mental health.