What Advice Have You Offered Students As They Cope With Difficult Times Whether It Be Grief Or Trauma
I wouldnt necessarily call it advice but rather an encouraged offering of a safe and welcoming space to talk about their feelings, to talk about their worries, to talk about the things that scare them, and to simply say the things that ruminate in their minds to say them out loud in a space that will not judge and in a space that is sturdy enough to hold these big feelings so that students do not need to carry them alone. I encourage students to connect with the helpers, with their families, with their peers, and with their community.
Best Restorative Mental Health Day Activities For Kids
Adults arent the only ones who need an occasional mental health day. The build-up of academic, social, and activity stressors can be overwhelming for kids if they arent balanced out by periods of recharging. Read on to discover 10 mental health activities for kids from a mental health professional that will help to restore and emotionally balance your child.
Even if I was ok giving my child a mental health day, what would we even do?
As it turns out, this is a common question and stumbling block for many parents considering offering their stressed or overwhelmed child a mental health day off of school, or their regular day-to-day responsibilities.
The good news is, the answer isnt complicated and requires no preparation or financial investment.
While your child may want to escape whats on their mind by binging on screen time all day, spending time doing a few of these mental health day activities for kids will make the most of their time off, and give them the best emotional reset moving forward.
Having a conversation early on in the day to discuss both of your expectations, and letting your child help choose some of the following activities, will go far to get them on board and on the path to calm confidence again.
Not Really Doing Anything For Those Kids
Millions of students have reported experiencing more negative emotions during the pandemic, when their in-person contacts with peers and teachers have been continuously unsettled. A recent article published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, examining 36 studies in 11 countries, pointed to a strong connection between school closures and emotional distress among children. A paper released by the Centers for Disease Control in February found that among adolescent girls, the proportion of emergency room visits related to eating disorders doubled during the pandemic, while the proportion related to motor or vocal tics tripled.
The evidence of COVIDs harmful effects on child well-being is clear. But if those harms are related to the disruption of school, some experts wonder, why would the answer be to offer students more time away?
Various methods for tackling mental health in schools have been validated , with some of the most successful organized as whole-school interventions that aim to make schools more welcoming and connected settings for kids. School climate can be improved by training teachers and staff to identify students under strain, or by emphasizing social and emotional learning that prepares students to communicate their own emotions more fluently. Even changes enacted by state legislatures, such as anti-bullying laws, have been linked to significant declines in self-harm.
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What Is University Mental Health Day
This kind of day is a national day for students to take care of their mental health. This kind of day is run jointly by Student Minds and UMHAN where this day encourages students and staff across the UK to run events and campaign to promote awareness and support for students at universities to manage their wellbeing in life.
This kind of day promotes a campaign where The university should take a day off for mental health.hursday 5th March 2020 as we inspired conversations, took action and created change.
Together we can get the nation talking about student mental health with this kind of day
The following are the things that this kind of day has achieved:
- Events on campuses and at workplaces all across the UK from Scotland to Southampton as reported
- 67 events registered on the Universitys map as reported
- 6000+ people joining in online using #UniMentalHealthDay in social media
- An incredible online reach of 25+ million on Twitter as reported
What Not To Do On A Mental Health Day
For many teens, it can be tempting to spend the day binge-watching TV, scrolling through social media, or napping away the afternoon. However, a true mental health day is not about kicking backor at least not just about kicking back. While some downtime is appropriate, overdoing the online activity and media consumption is likely to have a negative impact on mood.
Furthermore, the free time provided by taking a mental health day from school can increase the risk of teen drinking, drug use, or other risky behavior. Heres where parent involvement can be helpful: Parents can help adolescents plan healthy activities aimed at alleviating stress.
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Good Mental Health Is A Boon In Several Ways
- It can help us have and maintain productive and healthy relationships
- Helps us cope with our daily stress
- Motivates us to think good about ourselves.
- Makes us more productive in day-to-day tasks.
- Helps us empathise with our community and make meaningful contributions
- Helps exude our full potential in every task.
States Where Mental Health Days Are Allowed
Washington: On June 9, 2022 the state of Washington and the State Superintendent approved a new law that will allow students to use mental or behavioral health reasons as a valid excuse for an absence.
California: On October 8th, 2021 Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bills 14 and 224 into law. New law SB 14 allows students to miss school due to mental or behavioral health concerns, and these absences will be treated the same as a missed school day. SB 224 requires schools to include mental health content in their health education curriculum and to implement new instruction on the subject on or before January 1, 2024.
Illinois: As of January 1, 2022 schools must now allow students to take up to five mental health days per year. These will be considered excused absences, and are intended to encourage children to get help during this time if they need it. The law states kids don’t need a doctor’s note to take these mental health days, however students and parents will need to explicitly state that they’re using this type of absence when they call into their school office.
Maine: In February 2020 governor Janet Mills signed a bill that would allow students to take days off school for mental and behavioral health reasons.
Virginia: On December 31, 2019, the general assembly of Virginia passed a bill allowing students to take mental health days, meaning students can claim mental health as a valid excuse for absence.
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Mental Health Days For Students
16 July, 2022
Its just a bill, but its on the table and is an important public issue. The United States seeks to establish mental health days for students. The objective is to offer rest days to children and adolescents when they feel especially saturated, stressed, or have other psycho-emotional problems.
There are many schools that seek to give mental health the priority it deserves. They recognize the fact that, after the pandemic, many of the problems in this area that already existed have intensified. In fact, theres been a notable increase in depression, eating disorders, and anxiety among the youngest members of society.
Furthermore, the number of suicides in this age cohort cant be ignored. Mental health days would allow students to undergo psychological therapies or simply have a day of rest. Apparently, many teachers have witnessed how their students have been increasingly suffering from headaches, stomach pains, erratic behavior, etc.
These concessions are also intended to raise awareness and highlight a reality thats been neglected for decades.
Parents should be aware of possible emotional or psychological problems in their children. The allowance of rest days would help make families more aware of their mental well-being.
What Led You To The Field Of Social Work
From a young age, I was a helper and learned the value of listening to others when it came to figuring out what to help with. My mother would share stories about her upbringing, and I would sit there for hours just listening to these experiences and taking in her learnings and wisdom. It was fascinating. The drive toward the mental health field really took shape in middle and high school when I experienced my own struggles with depression and anxiety. I was fortunate to be surrounded by a supportive village that connected me with social workers and resources that helped me overcome those difficult times. Now, I get to be part of supportive villages that are helping kids and families overcome their difficult times.
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How To Plan A Mental Health Day
Every one is different and every teenager has different needs. There is no ideal structure for a mental health day. Its a matter of figuring out how to turn off the noise in your head and relax. It may be helpful to think about this in advance of your mental health day.
Try this quick journal exercise. On a blank piece of paper, answer the following questions: How is my body feeling? How is my mind feeling? What do I need to feel better right now?
You might not find all the answers you need from a single journal entry, but your answers to these questions can provide a starting point. When you understand how youre feeling, both physically and emotionally, and what you need to improve your overall wellbeing, you can plan a day to address those needs.
Try some of the following stress reduction strategies to make the most of your mental health day:
The Need For New Legislation On Child And Adolescent Psychology
Since 2018, the United States has been trying to improve mental health care for children and adolescents. Utah was one of the first states to develop a bill that allowed for mental health days. Maine and Illinois have also given the green light for approval. Currently, there are many states that also hope to shortly give the go-ahead.
However, it should be noted that not all states are in favor of formalizing this legislation. Some people think that many children will take it as an excuse to miss class. That said, both state education agencies and local school districts know how to regulate the proposal. At the end of the day, they realize that its more urgent than ever to provide an answer in terms of mental health assistance for students.
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Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz, medical director of the Child Mind Institute and a child and adolescentpsychiatrist based in New York City, views mental health days as a joyous occasion: an opportunity to have fun.
Ideally, you can use mental health days as a way to celebrate your childs efforts in school, he said.
For example, maybe your child just finished a big project, handed it in, and the next day she said: Im exhausted. I want a mental health day. In that case, taking the day off is perfectly appropriate, Dr. Koplewicz said.
But dont use mental health days to help your child avoid situations at school that are making them uncomfortable, he cautioned.
Sick days are sick days, whether its physical or mental, he added.
A Few Hours Can Help Too
Taking a single day off for self-care may be all some people need to reset their thinking and behaviors. For many, however, taking any amount of time off feels almost impossible.
The boundaries between work and personal life have been blurred for a long time now, Kuller explained. With the internet and social media, people are expected to respond to emails at all hours of the day. Even if people take a day off, they have a hard time getting completely away from work.
For these constantly connected people, Kuller recommended unplugging as much as possible. Staring at screens all day can be exhausting, and it can slow down your functioning, he said. Try unplugging and getting back in touch with whats going on in the environment around you. This can be as valuable as taking a sick day or a personal day.
Try unplugging and getting back in touch with whats going on in the environment around you. This can be as valuable as taking a sick day or a personal day. Dr. Andrew Kuller
Despite the benefits of mental health days, Kuller pointed out that a single day off is not a prescription replacement, nor is it a cure-all for anxiety, depression, or other mental health symptomsespecially for individuals with diagnosed mental illnesses.
Are you or a loved one struggling to manage anxiety or stress? McLean Hospital is here to help. Call us now at to learn more about treatment for depression, stress, or anxiety.
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When Are Mental Health Days Not A Good Idea
Mental health days can be positive for any child, says Allison Dubinski, a LCSW at the Child Mind Institute, as long as theyre done in a way thats not reinforcing avoidance or anxiety.
We want to teach kids that prioritizing our mental health and taking care of ourselves is important, Dubinski says, But if kids are asking for a day off because theyre trying to get out of something that theyre anxious about, staying home may end up reinforcing that anxiety.
Jerry Bubrick, PhD, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute agrees. Im a big advocate for mental health days, he says. But parents need to be conscious of making sure kids arent using them to avoid schoolwork. This isnt because you want to get an extension on a paper or miss a test then its just a procrastination day.
Not to mention that skipping tests, dodging schoolwork or hiding from conflict often ends up making the problem bigger, not better. The goal is to give kids the coping skills theyll need to manage anxiety, and sometimes that means pushing through even when its difficult, says Dubinski. Likewise, kids especially younger children and kids with ADHD or learning differences might really need the consistency and support the school routine provides. Or they could end up feeling more anxious because theyve missed something important in class.
A Public Response To Mental Health
In its guidance on the implementation of the new law, the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction also cited rising rates of absenteeism among students. According to the Washington State Report card, regular attendance as defined by fewer than two absences per month dropped from 89.4% in the 2019-20 school year to 80.1% in 2020-21, the most recent year data was available. The 2019-20 school year actually saw improved attendance after about three years of holding steady at about 82%.
Hedy Chang, of Attendance Works, an education consulting group that helps districts and states develop strategies to boost student attendance, said districts nationwide have reported this doubling of chronic absence. She said the school environments and practices that usually provide stability and relationship-building were disrupted by the pandemic including the outbreaks of COVID-19 that spread among students and teachers when schools returned to in-person learning. And while she applauds the shift away from blaming students when they are in crisis, she said that allowing for mental health days is only one tool in addressing student well-being.
If your staff is all burnt out, youre not going to get an environment of social and emotional well-being, she added.
While awareness of the mental health crisis in schools is growing, its still not a conversation many students are ready to have with each other, said See, the Yakima student.
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Significance Of Mental Health
Deteriorating mental health has become a major issue worldwide and it must be catered to thoroughly. An oxford survey shows that at least 2 out of 5 adults experience a mental health issue every year whether it is in the later stages of their life or from birth. Everybody around us knows the importance of good mental health or has experienced the significant differences of good mental health a bad themselves, even then mental health also has a significant stigma attached to it which restricts people from talking about it and accepting it.
A great section of people suffers silently due to this drawback of society, which is why talking about mental health has become a necessity and must be treated as such. Mental health is a pressing issue in our global society which is why it has become so essential for us to openly address it and empathise with people suffering from mental health issues. Celebrating world mental health day provides us with the platform to address those concerns openly and normalise all the mental issues people are facing all the while being an empathetic participant in fighting the stigma.