A majority of students seem to be more stressed than relaxed as we approach the end of the fall semester.
With finals coming up along with projects, homework and transcript grades, students’ schedules will only get busier. Not to mention most students are expected to balance their school life with their home and social life, all while keeping sane and stable, which is unrealistic. Two states: Utah and Oregon have passed laws allowing students to take days off dedicated to their mental health. It has come into question as to whether or not other locations should adopt this law including New York City.
Peta Gaye Williams, a licensed master social worker for the Jewish Board of Family and Children Services, supports the idea of implementing mental health days in New York City. Williams stated, “Students are at a cognitive stage in life where things are shifting and changing very rapidly and if you are not mindful of taking care of your mental health now things can tend to spiral out much worse later on.” Williams has had her fair share in working with students, children, teens, and families on bettering their mental health and lives all together. After finding out about these mental health laws being passed Williams goes on to share “That would be wonderful! I don’t know if that will be implemented here but I do think that, as I tell colleagues, you know if you have vacation or sick days and there’s that specific time where you’re not feeling great, there should be no shame in being able to take the time that you need to take care of yourself.”
Joel Vasquez, a senior at Edison similar questions he is also supportive of this idea as he tries to take care of his mental health to the best of his abilities.
When asked if he puts aside time to take care of his well-being he said,“Yes. I definitely do not have a lot of time on my hands because of school and my personal life but I try my best to give myself that mental break… I spend time with my family and friends that I love the most. While that does have to do with my social life I find it most relaxing when I’m around those who make me happy. I also listen to music too.”
“I literally take a week off from school every now and then to avoid the toxic atmosphere school has. While that does affect my grades it’s a necessity and I don’t regret it at all. However my grades and anyone else’s won’t be negatively affected we have those mental health days,” Vasquez continued.
While this may be a controversial topic, people seem to support it. Everyone’s mental health is important and maybe having days dedicated to them may assure people that their well-being comes first and that it’s okay to take off time to make sure you’re okay.