Con: Taking More Than Just A Day Off

Trigger Warning: “Taking More Than Just a Day Off” contains a graphic description of a suicide which may cause discomfort.


Trigger Warning: The following article contains a graphic description of a suicide.

Collin Anderson, Contributor

Check out: Pro: The Strength of Mental Health Days

The student took a mental day off; his parents aren’t home, and he is in his room crying, writing a note. That note is a suicide note, left for his parents to find later. Once he is done with his note, he takes a belt from his closet and walks to a tree. He puts the belt around a tree branch and puts his neck in the belt then kicks the stool from under himself.
If he had not had that mental health day off, then he would not have committed suicide. The day off from school made him more vulnerable and allowed him the time to harm himself. He had too much time alone. Why should the school system let students have mental health days if those days off are potentially harming people?
The first reason for not having mental health days off is that if a student is left alone at home, he could commit suicide when his parents are out of the house. If the student takes off school and he has depressing thoughts and no one is home, he could be more prone to harm himself. The student shouldn’t be left alone; he should get help and not sit at home all day with nothing to do. If the student has a mental health condition, then sitting at home will not be beneficial for him. In fact, studies show that a student is more likely to cut or commit suicide when he is at home alone because there are no distractions as provided by the school environment. When he sits at home with depressing thoughts without an outlet for those thoughts, he is just left alone with his isolation.
The next reason for not having mental health days off is that there are better solutions available in school. There are counselors at school that are ready to help students, in contrast to a student sitting at home alone, which provides no help. Also at school, teachers could help students get through tough times. If a teacher sees that a student is stressed out, a good teacher may send the student down to the counselor, and he can do the school work on another date. When the student comes to the counselor, he is allowed to work out the stress in a healthy way because the counselors are trained to handle stress-induced situations and to give students the professional help they need. In addition, the students’ friends are at school to help him by making him laugh. Often, laughter is the best meditation for sadness, and the student’s friends can distract from other problems.
The final reason for not having mental health days off is that too many people would take advantage of them. Students who don’t like school may take the day off just because they don’t feel like going to school. If the teacher gives the students a major test that he didn’t study for, he might just take the day off to avoid taking the test. Furthermore, the student who thinks he has “depression” could skip just because he can’t handle a little stress. The student’s grades will drop, and he won’t get his school work done. As a result, the school will have more and more absences, and that could become an epidemic.
If a student has a mental health condition or is stressed out, then he shouldn’t get the day off. If the student is left alone at his house, with depressing thoughts, he could easily commit suicide. Seeing the counselors at school is a better option for the students who should be seeking professional help. Furthermore, school systems should not implement a policy to provide additional mental health days off. The extra days off would just entice students to abuse the days and not use them for the right reason. In short, the policy would not be beneficial for the students or the staff at any school. We should all inform our superintendent about how mental health days off are not the beneficial answer, that they at first may seem good but they are not. We must request that this plan not be implemented in our school system.