When we were kids, we have all encountered incidents of students who tend to worry a lot on pity issues, some of us have been through the situation as well!
All too often, such students are often regarded as a "worrier" by the teachers in the schools, while deep down the problem is much serious. The underlying problem has much to do with Trauma-Induced Anxiety and Clinical Depression.
As long as such students are doing well, they must be allowed to take 10 rest days every year.
Growing up with Trauma-Induced Anxiety and Clinical Depression is pretty hard for kids. Some students are worried about a lot of things that other kids aren't, and schools get overwhelming sometimes. This result in a lot of breakdowns, panic attacks -- sometimes these students are super productive, and other days they couldn't get anything done. This happens most of the times as mental health issues are not properly addressed-esp when a child is growing up and they lack abilities to address the underlying problems as they are unable to understand it.
Mental Health days can be a profound solution to this problem as it will always keep such children productive on other days.
Let's understand the importance of mental health first and what can be potential solutions to these problems
First, we need to understand that while not everyone has a diagnosed mental illness all of us have mental health. All of us have a brain that needs to be cared for in similar ways that we care for our physical well-being. Our head and our body are connected by much more than just our neck after all. Mental illness even manifests itself in some physical ways, such as nausea, headaches, fatigue and shortness of breath. So since mental health affects all of us, shouldn't we be coming up with solutions that are accessible to all of us?
And that's the second part of the story. Students should be made aware of their mental health and should be given a chance to speak up openly in front of a student counselor.
Schools can start-off by holding a summer camp about mental health. What could we do? We should approach this conversation with an enormous amount of empathy and honesty, and the results will astound you. Mental health should be prioritized in schools, and the stigma should be put to an end. With the help of some lobbyists and a few mental health professionals, some protocols can be made- schools can allow students to take mental health days off from school the same way you would a physical health day. Because oftentimes that day off is the difference between feeling a whole lot better and a whole lot worse.
Students. They're overwhelmed, overworked, they're falling behind in school, and they know they need help. Maybe they've never talked about mental health with their parents before, but with a small committee formed, they can initiate that conversation. The parent still needs to be the one to call the school and excuse the absence, so it's not like it's a free pass for the kids, but most importantly, now that school has that absence recorded as a mental health day, so they can keep track of just how many students take how many mental health days. If a student takes too many, they'll be referred to the school counselor for a check-in. This is important because we can catch students who are struggling before it's too late.
It is important to understand for all of us that it is always OK to not be OK, and it is always OK to take a break. It doesn't have to be a whole day; sometimes that's not realistic. But it can be a few moments here and there to check in with yourself. Think of life as a race, not a sprint but a marathon. If you sprint in the very beginning you're going to get burnt out. You may even hurt yourself from pushing too hard. But if you pace yourself, if you take it slow, sometimes intentionally, and you push yourself other times, you are sure to be way more successful.
Mental health challenges are not going away, but as a society, we can learn how to manage them by looking after one another. And look after yourself, too.