Validating mental health in Michigan schools

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  • Schools must accept mental health as a valid reason for excused absences, schools should mark those absences as mental health days
  • Schools will plan 2 mandatory mental health days each semester (1 each quarter)
    • On these days, schools should provide optional mental health materials and activities (examples of mental health resources) 
  • During winter break, schools will not assign any homework or projects to be done during break

In 2018, Utah passed a law that allowed students to use mental health as a "Valid excuse" for missing school. In 2019, Oregon passed a similar law that also allowed students to use "mental or behavioral health" as an acceptable reason for excused absences. Here in Michigan, we need to see a similar change in our schools. In Michigan, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for people ages 15-34. Stress and anxiety from school can be a big factor in affecting people's mental health, especially during these overwhelming times (this video is a collection of student interviews about how COVID has impacted their mental health). It is important for schools to teach about and support students' mental health to allow them to reach their full potential. Our list of demands above are steps that schools and the state of Michigan need to take in order to validate mental health and address the issues that students face.   

If you want more information about how we came to these specific demands, go to this link to see the resources we've utilized.