Are Mental Health Days a Good Idea?

Junior+Thien+Nguyen+sits+in+the+commons.+He+is+stressed+out+for+his+honors+math+final.+%28Samrawit+Kopessa%29
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Are Mental Health Days a Good Idea?

Junior Thien Nguyen sits in the commons. He is stressed out for his honors math final. (Samrawit Kopessa)

Junior Thien Nguyen sits in the commons. He is stressed out for his honors math final. (Samrawit Kopessa)

Junior Thien Nguyen sits in the commons. He is stressed out for his honors math final. (Samrawit Kopessa)

Junior Thien Nguyen sits in the commons. He is stressed out for his honors math final. (Samrawit Kopessa)

Ruth Mesfin, Review Staff

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 Have you ever come to school, feeling mentally exhausted and wanting to take a break from school to gather yourself mentally?

Many believe being a high schooler comes with many responsibilities, one of them being managing school work with mental health. Whether it’s the SAT, quizzes, or even homework, students are always expected to understand the knowledge they need to enhance their learning for the future, under a certain amount of time.

As a Junior, the effect of preparing for the SAT and taking CCA and AP classes have made these nine

weeks of school stressful. Being expected to take these challenging classes, being involved in the school’s community, and taking a test that will play a big factor on which college you go to, takes a toll on students mentally. 

“It’s only been two months of school and I already feel stressed and overwhelmed by my junior year,” Junior Rediet Ayanaw said. “It would really help if the school could provide 1-3 mental health days throughout the year.” (Samrawit Kopessa)

So should schools allow students to take mental health days?

According to The New York Times on July 1, 2019, Oregon passed a law that went into effect that would allow students to take five mental health days in a three-month period.

This bill will give students the opportunity to take mental breaks from school and still have the chance to make up any missed work or tests.

Mental health experts say that the bill is “one of the first state laws to require schools to treat mental health and physical health equally, coming at a time where teachers increasingly consider the emotional health of students.”

Depression can be caused by school pressure where many students experience some degree of academic pressure, only getting worse when students go on to higher education. 

Juniors Samantha Fuentes and Koyinsola Oyefesao share the same idea. Fuentes said, “I think mental health days would help just because everybody needs time to process and have time to just take a breather, especially since students are always on the go.”

Many students have the same argument as Fuentes and Oyefesao, expressing the fact that school takes away from their social lives and the time to just relax. 

After interviewing multiple students, they came up with these lists of pros and cons on whether mental health days should be something Colorado or even Rangeview should look into. 

Mental Health Days pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Allows students to prioritize their mental state and well-being
  • Gives students a break to gather themselves 
  • Might increase a student’s performance in school 
  • Decreases stress!!!

Cons:

  • Might be taken advantage of or used as an excuse 
  • Missing work
  • Having to catch up after returning 
  • Exploitation

    There is a sign outside of the Counseling Office indicating where it is. “In my opinion, talking to a counselor wouldn’t be an option,” Junior Blessed Asare said. “I don’t feel open talking to a counselor about personal things; by giving us students a mental health day it really would be beneficial.” (Samrawit Kopessa)

This bill has received great support within the students at Rangeview; however, the adults feel differently. 

When asked if he agreed with the idea of having mental health days, Dean Mr. Anderson said, “No, I don’t agree with having mental health days when you can come to school and get support from your counselors rather than staying home and using your phone.”

But are counselors enough to help students with depression, anxiety, or even academic stress? Or is having time to yourself better? 

Hall monitor Rock said, “No, I don’t think it is necessary for students to have mental health days; life is already stressful itself. I’m stressed and I still attend my job. Over time you need to learn how to deal with it and not use that as an excuse.”

Having mental health days would benefit and improve how students perform in school, and it would increase engagement in classrooms. In today’s society, there’s a lot of talk about mental health, but nothing is being done. 

Students need more support in times where they feel overloaded with homework, or when they feel they’re mentally unstable. The question now is, will Colorado follow Oregon and put this bill in effect, or will students continue to feel pressured academically and mentally?