Suicide rates for people between the ages of 10 and 24 increased 56% in a ten year period, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Now, one Illinois lawmaker wants schools to recognize mental health days as an excused absence for up to five days each school year.
Authored by Illinois Senator Robert F. Martwick, a brief summary of Illinois Senate Bill 2473 states:
Amends the Compulsory Attendance Article of the School Code. Provides that a public school student shall be granted up to 5 days of excused absences in any school year for the reason of the mental or behavioral health of the student. Requires that a student whose absence is excused for this reason be provided the opportunity to make up any school work missed during the absence.
“While we wouldn’t want students to infect other students with a virus, I think we’re coming to an understanding that it’s the right thing to do to allow students to get themselves right so that they can perform well in school and they can learn well,” Senator Martwick said.
This bill would simply add mental health to the list of excused absences. It would not give students an additional five days off of school.
You can view the full text of Illinois Senate Bill 2473 here.