Oregon Adopts ‘Mental Health Days’ as Excused Absence for Students

By Audrey McNamara: For More Info, Go Here…

ngd- I’m not sure that this won’t increase stigma rather than reduce it. I hope the students are right…

Oregon will adopt a new law that excuses absences from public schools for “mental health days” just like sick days. According to experts, the law is one of the first in the United States to equate mental health to physical health.

The bill was brought up by students who said they were inspired to make change by the Parkland student activists. Haily Hardcastle, 18, said she and fellow youth leaders drafted the measure to “encourage kids to admit when they’re struggling.”

Suicide is Oregon’s second leading cause of death among those ages 10 to 34, according to data from the state Health Authority. “The first step to confront this crisis is to reduce the stigma around it,” said Debbie Plotnik, executive director of the nonprofit advocacy group Mental Health America. “We need to say it’s just as OK to take care for mental health reasons as it is to care for a broken bone or a physical illness.”

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