New York Bill Allows Students To Get Mental Health Days Off

Students will be able to skip school for mental health reasons if the bill is passed.

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 6 – New York is looking to pass a new legislation that would allow students to take days off school due to mental health issues.

The legislation introduced last Wednesday is expected to add mental or behavioural health issues as permitted reasons for a student’s absence from school.

“We need to recognise suicide and self-harm among young New Yorkers as the major public health crisis that it is, demolish the stigma around mental health care, and do everything within our power to help kids who are struggling seek treatment,” said New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, the bill’s sponsor, as cited by CNN.

Suicide is touted as the second leading cause of death for those between 10 and 18 years old, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed.

The number of children and teens treated for suicide attempts and suicidal thoughts in the US has also increased nearly two-fold from 2007 to 2015.

“Just as schools have nurses to address the physical health needs of students, they need to have the appropriate school-employed mental health professionals, such as school psychologists, to meet the social and emotional needs of students to prevent excessive absences due to these issues,” said John Garruto, president of the New York Association of School Psychologists.

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