It’s Time To Stop Dismissing Mental Illness


Isabella Towne

By Isabella Towne
Staff Reporter

Everyone has been sick. Either it’s been a cold, a fever, the flu. And when you’re sick, you need to take a break to recover. Usually that means that people need to take days off of school or work until they are healthy enough to return. Schools and jobs have a certain amount of sick days that are allowed. This means students and employees get days off when ill without consequences. But, as time goes on, there is now a need to have another form of sick days: mental health days. A day for students to take a break from the stress of it all, to relax and have some time to themselves. It should be viewed as a valid excuse for a day off when needed. 

Mental health has been a recurring topic that has been more prominent in the past few years. It is being more discussed than ever, becoming more normalized as time goes on, and more people speak up about their experiences. Since it is now a common issue, like being physically ill, students should be able to take a break and focus on their mental health. 

PEACE junior Monserrat Velazquez says that, “Mental health can be damaging to our physical health, so it should be taken seriously as a sick day.” According to, around 18% of high school students have mental health issues. Being able to take a day off could help tremendously. 

Photo courtesy of Community Care Physicians.

Even for those without mental health problems, sometimes just a break is needed. A break from homework, the need to be social, testing, all of that. It can be a day to rest, or to catch up on missed homework. states that, “Forty percent of teens report feeling irritable or angry, 36 percent report feeling nervous or anxious, 36 percent report feeling fatigued or tired, and 31 percent report feeling overwhelmed due to stress in the past month.” 

Having a mental health day off would be good not only for mental health, but physical health. In addition to this, a mental health day would help the work ethic in students. Once given a break and are less tired, students are more ready to go and learn in school.