May is Mental Health Awareness Month
A new bill was recently introduced into the Michigan Senate during the month of April, which stipulates that students should be eligible for 5 days of mental health leave. This is potentially a huge game-changer in the way the schooling system would support students who are struggling mentally.
We’re breaking down what the bill says and how it would affect you if passed.
What Does The Bill Say?
House Bill 4389 states that students are eligible for 5 mental health days to use throughout the school year. Students would also have the option to see a school psychologist or counselor after using two of the days.
Another important feature of the bill is that students would not need to provide a doctor’s note when using the mental health days, along with the opportunity to make up any missed schoolwork without penalties.
Those who oppose the bill say that adding mental health days into a school calendar won’t actually encourage positive changes. Some are even equating it to a band-aid.
One such opposer is Matt Baughman, a Michigan superintendent.
“The reality is that the people, the students who really need mental health support aren’t actually going to be helped by going home,” Baughman said.
Another Michigan superintendent who opposes the bill is Rick Heitmeyer. He worries that school attendance will drop, and the absences will have a negative impact on learning for the students. It would especially difficult on those learning to read.
Regardless of if the bill passes or not, seeing mental health discussions at the government level is a huge step in the right direction.
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