Mental health included in six excused absences


Graphic by Lake Ragnini

Mental health is now apart of the six excused absences allowed at DGN.

Gretchen Lucina, Editor-in-Chief

Starting January 2022, Illinois students can take up to five mental or behavioral health days. Students in D99 get six excused absences a semester. No extra days will be added to with the new law, but students can be called in for mental health days as a part of their six excused absences. 

Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the bill into a law in August and public school children ages 6 to 17 are all included.  After a student uses their second mental health day, they will be sent to counselors and receive guidance from school support. 

Along with Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Virginia, Illinois has now joined efforts in passing bills letting children be allowed days off for their mental well being. These seven states have made the adjustments in just the last two years. 

Co-sponsor, State Representative Barbara Hernandez helped Pritzker accomplish signing the law. She believes that students would benefit from this implementation amidst the pandemic.

“Many students feel stressed, and have developed anxiety and depression because they’re not able to see teachers and friends, and may have lower grades due to remote learning. This will allow them to get the help they need,” Hernandez said