• Another state may allow students to take approved absences for mental health days

    By: Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    Florida may soon be joining the ranks of Utah and Oregon by allowing students to take approved absences for mental health days.

    Florida Rep. Susan Valdes has introduced House Bill 315 to allow students to take approved time off from school for mental health, WTVT and other outlets are reporting.

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    Valdes said that many schools don't have mental health reasons listed for excused absences, according to WTVT.

    HB315 specifies one mental health day per semester as an excused absence.

    The goal is to help students with severe depression and anxiety and to prevent suicide, WTVT reported.

    One high school senior said the mental health break would be a welcome relief.

    "As a senior, I'm working to apply to colleges, finish my homework in IB classes and balance extracurricular activities," Renata Hupple told WFTS. "A mental health day would really help with that stress that's overloaded on us."

    Oregon offers students five mental health days to be used over a three-month period, The New York Times reported.

    Utah lawmakers said students can miss school for any illness, "which may be mental or physical." the Times reported.

    As for the Florida proposal, it is still just that. The bill has just been submitted, but the discussion could come during the next legislative session when it begins in January, WFTS reported.

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