Bill in NY Senate Education Committee could give students mental health days

As students head back to school, parents are wondering if their children should have time off for mental health days.

News 12 Staff

Sep 6, 2022, 9:52 PM

Updated 626 days ago

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As students head back to school, parents are wondering if their children should have time off for mental health days.
A bill currently in the Senate Education Committee could make that a reality.
Karen Buttner, of Levittown, says her 18-year-old son Kyle has schizophrenia. She says it would be a great idea for New York to start accepting mental health days as a valid reason for missing school.
"We all have anxiety at times, and it's learning how to control your thoughts and what's going on inside of you and not being embarrassed by your feelings," Buttner says.
Some psychiatrists say some students are still dealing with returning to the classroom and the ongoing stress of the pandemic.
Dr. Liat Jarkon, of the Center of Behavioral Health at NYIT, says they need to make sure mental health days are not abused, but that can be regulated with parameters between the students, parents and the school.
Twelve states already have legislation to allow students up to five mental health days. New York is not one of those states, but some students hope they will soon get the chance to have days to destress.
"Me personally, I'm a senior in high school, there's already a lot of things stressing me out...," says Emerson Lucatorto, a senior at Floral Park Memorial High School. "It's a stressful time and just knowing we have this opportunity - it makes me feel more safe and more understood."
If the bill is passed, it could take effect in September 2023.


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