SCHOOL MENTAL HEALTH DAYS
Educate + Motivate + Activate
school mental health days
Invisible diseases and mental health issues are causing significant issues among the youth and affecting their lives in the classroom and at home. Schools plan and even expect students to catch a cold or the flu. School administration plans for this and expects students to miss days from school to recover, drink fluids and eat chicken noodle soup at home to get better. They allow kids to take rest days, so they can remain healthy and can come back to school when they feel better.
Having a mental health issue or crisis should be the same. For those that have experienced diagnosable depression or anxiety, getting out of bed is mentally and physically exhausting. It can be exponentially worse than the flu. I know. I’ve been diagnosed with depression and anxiety issues in the past. In my experience, there were days that going to school, going to practice and getting out of bed were far more difficult than days that I had the flu.
At times I would get these episodes of depression when life meant nothing. Hopelessness would hit me like a freight train and school seemed pointless. Life was pointless and nothing mattered. Not school, not basketball practice and not even my family. Today I still get those feelings and struggle with day to day issues of depression and social anxiety.
Looking back at my days in school and how I feel now, no wonder I struggled in school. Being in the environment of middle school or high school does not seem healthy as an adult dealing with mental health. Being surrounded by rowdy teenagers, peer pressure and the powerful social media pressure would seem like hell. I wouldn’t want to be a student with a depressive episode forced to go to school.
Hopelessness would hit me like a freight train and school seemed pointless.
During the mid-1990s in 8th grade is when I first experienced depression. It would get so bad that I didn’t want to move and had no energy to do anything. My parents thought it was a “teenager” move I was trying to pull in order to skip school. They didn’t know at the time that I didn’t even want to live.
Today, I believe having “mental health days” to see a doctor and find out coping tools would have helped manage my mental health. A day off would have helped me get away from the stress and pressures at school. It would have allowed me to recover. It would have giving me time at home to get my mind ready for school and my energy levels back up, so I could face my classmates and teachers.
It might have helped me have a different perspective and not hate the world or the people I was surrounded by every day.