Mental health conditions have long been treated quite differently than physical illnesses in schools. If you have a fever or break something, that’s a certain phone call to your parents to pick you up. If you are feeling anxious or depressed, though, you are told (implicitly or explicitly) to suck it up and keep going, or you are judged as a problem child.

In the wake of the mental health challenges arising from the pandemic and social unrest, however, states are increasingly seeing excused mental health days as valid and necessary responses to the emotional pain of students. To read more about this, click here.