With the loads of school work and the pressure of everyday life, it is no secret that students experience a large amount of anxiety and overwhelming emotions. In a five-day school week, students are learning to balance between their social and academic lives while learning new information that holds them to a higher standard of academic achievements. Although taking mental health days can be risky when students get in the habit of skipping school, the benefits of having days devoted specifically to students’ mental health can drastically decrease stress, limit personal struggles and make the use of teaching or learning more effective.
With all of the stress that comes with classwork and homework, it is important that all kids are given a stress-free day. Having a day dedicated to making mental health a top priority will allow students to feel better about themselves mentally and physically. Having a stress-filled mind can create a large toll on academic performance and hinder a student’s ability to give their best effort. According to NYU. edu, stress is the number one reported impediment to academic performance. While the emotion of stress is inevitable, having mental health days that give students a break from school and drama will help students avoid the extreme destructive weight of having excessive stress.
If all students were given the opportunity to have mental health days, teaching and learning would become more effective for students. Students would grasp the concept of learning new material faster and become more eager to learn if they are given more days committed to their personal health. When students go to school for eight hours each day with few breaks, it makes it easier for students to fall behind and get into a routine of not caring about their academics and future. Research has shown that when schools take more mental health days, students feel as if they have received a tremendous amount of support and acknowledgement in regards to their well-being. Once a student feels heard and understood, they are more willing to show their dedication. Having those positive reinforcements can decrease a student’s chance of having negative emotions, which will then eventually lead to a feeling of better mental health.
In the personal lives of most teenage students, depression and anxiety are key factors that can affect a student’s health. Whether or not certain teenagers feel stress, almost every person has had to deal with personal struggles. Some of those struggles can include family traumas, relationships and even existing mental illnesses. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, one in six children aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year. Statistics like these demonstrate how important it is for students to have support and days where they can relax and recharge their brains. Having mental health days could be the only time students are able to take a break and relax their nervous systems. Allowing them to step back from the overwhelming pressure can save students who already have unfortunate circumstances from spiraling into deeper mental health issues that can cause serious consequences.
Some parents and schools may have the concern of students getting behind in their school work or using mental health as an excuse to skip class. It is equally important, however, that students are given days to focus on slowing down their brain and decreasing the amount of stress, due dates and social pressures. Poor mental health can have more disastrous consequences than simply missing school. Because school’s are reluctant to have dedicated mental health days, most students are unaware of how to deal with new feelings of stress, anxiety, depression and exhaustion. Having certain tools and coping strategies can minimize any negative mental thoughts a student can have.
With all the stress, drama and obstacles students face in their everyday lifestyle, it is crucial that they are given more opportunities to focus on their well-being and health. The simple act of giving students a day dedicated to themselves and their health can promote not only positive reinforcements but also awareness for the challenges many younger people are facing. Taking mental health days is a chance for students to properly treat their mind and body. Sometimes, even the smallest break can create a huge difference in the health of all students.