Illinois college students get 5 days of psychological well being from college
CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) – Students in Illinois will soon be able to take up to five days of mental health off school.
A new bill signed by Governor JB Pritzker last month will allow five excused absences from school without a medical certificate as of January, according to the NPR.
The coronavirus pandemic burdens placed on children across the country is a major reason for signing the bill.
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“Many students feel stressed and have developed anxiety and depression because they cannot see teachers and friends and may have lower grades due to distance learning,” said State Representative Barbara Hernandez.
This law is intended to give children the help they need. At the start of the pandemic, mental emergencies skyrocketed from March to May.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mental emergencies increased 24% in children ages 5-11 and 31% in children ages 12-17.
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Hernandez, who is also a co-sponsor of the law, believes these five mental health days could potentially be the answer to kids struggling with mental health.
“I’m very glad about that. I think it will help students, parents and teachers and help them understand what is going on in the lives of their students, ”said Hernandez.
A school counselor will contact the student’s family once a second mental health day is requested and the student can be referred for professional help as per the bill.
After students completed their second day of mental health, Hernandez said they should understand the need to have a conversation with an adult about what they are going through.
“A lot of students go through a lot mentally and emotionally and need support,” said Hernandez.
Illinois’ new mental health law goes into effect January 2022.
NewsNation subsidiary WTVO contributed to this report.