Should students get mental health days off from school?


Photo Credit: photovia: Wikimedia Commons

Mental illnesses were discovered in 1883. It was discovered by a German Psychiatrist Emil Krapelin.

By: Haley O'Neill, Reporter

For years, students are forced to go to school. Six hours a day, five days a week, ten months out of the year; after a while, it becomes exhausting. Exhausting enough to the point where weekends aren’t viewed as relaxing days; they’re catch-up days. Due to this it leaves students stressed. So is this good for students’ mental health? Shouldn’t they have mental health days off from school?

What exactly is mental health

Mental health is the emotional, psychological, and social well-being of people. Mental health or mental illness has a variety of triggers/causes. Some include, genetically, abuse, or neglect. Some examples include depression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and more. But the two main mental health disorders that occur in teens are depression and anxiety. The mental health of people is very important. Many people are unaware as to how important it truly is. however, poor mental health leads to more issues. If left untreated it can lead to bad lifestyle choices, poor management of physical health, and lower chances of being able to recover from it.

Teen mental health

The mental health of many teens has gradually decreased. The pandemic limited the social interaction that teens are used to. The lack of socialization, the secludedness (being home 24/7 due to remote learning) has truly taken a toll on teenagers. Studies show that “approximately one in five teens (aged 12 to 18) suffer from at least one mental health disorder.” That study was taken back in August of 2018, and as of right now, it truly has increased. A study that I have conducted, involving the students’ grades 9-12 that attend Colonia High School provide anonymous answers to a variety of questions, proving the worries of teen’s mental health.



Out of 70 responses, 64 teens responded with yes when asked, “Do you think students should have a mental health day off from school.” Students are constantly overwhelmed with the assignments they’re assigned, the tests that are planned, and the sports or clubs they par-take in. Therefore, this mental health day can either allow them to relax or have an extra day to slowly catch up on their work.  61  teens

After conducting a survey, there were a total of 70 anonymous responses. All of them ranged from ages 14-18. (Photo Credit: photo via: Haley O’Neill)

responded with yes when asked if these mental health days would be excused.

What can schools do

With the pandemic continuing, stress has been bombarding many teens causing depression and anxiety more than ever. “More than 11% of adolescents and teens report experiencing at least one major depressive episode in the last year, and the numbers continue to climb.” Teachers, administrators, counselors, and others all have very difficult jobs. Between deadlines for a variety of things, just like students, and even the teaching part or lecturing part itself. Overall it is a very hard job. However, with students doing anything and everything they can to maintain good grades and obtain an outgoing personality for colleges to recognize, it puts a lot of stress on teens. Having a mental health day for students to individually have will be best. These days should be excused and of course, there should be a number in which you can have these; 2 per month at most.


In conclusion, many teens work hard each and every day. Between classes and the abnormality in the school schedules, it has caused a great deal of stress. Mental health days would truly be a very beneficial thing to incorporate into a school. There can be a maximum of 2 days per month, which will ensure that students can focus on themselves while also maintaining good grades. Depression and anxiety is truly a mental illness that has grown to become more and more popular. To prevent any situations, it is important to be able to focus on your own mental health whether it’s for an hour or an entire day. If you or a loved one are suffering deeply from depression please do not hesitate to call someone for help. School guidance counselors are strongly encouraged as are therapists. If not, please call  1-800-273-TALK (8255) or 1-800-662-HELP (4357).