State Rep. introduces ‘mental health day’ bill for students

Michigan

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — State Representative Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) introduced legislation today that would give Michigan students five mental health days.

Under said legislation, the students must be given the opportunity to make up work missed during the mental health day.

With Anthony’s proposed legislation, no doctor’s note would be required to justify the need for a mental health day.

According to a release from Anthony, pandemic has worsened the existing mental health crisis in Michigan, taking an especially severe toll on children and young people.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show a 24% increase in mental health emergency visits among kids 5 to 11 years of age and a 31% increase among kids 12 to 17 years of age between March and May of last year alone.

“We all have young people in our lives who are important to us, and it’s clear the last couple of years are weighing heavily on their shoulders. Kids today are forced to deal with unprecedented levels of trauma and emotional stress — from gun violence to financial instability to racial unrest. This bill would signal that there’s nothing wrong with taking some time and space to get help — something far too many of us could benefit from — no matter our age.”

State Representative Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing)

The proposed bill would join Michigan with several other states that allow excused absences for mental or behavioral health reasons, including Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Virginia.

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