ROMEOVILLE, Ill. – State Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, voted to pass legislation that would allow students to use an excused absence in school for their mental health.
“Just as when students get physically ill, we must provide room for those struggling with mental illness to have the ability to stay home from school if needed,” said Manley. “We shouldn’t force students to go to school when they don’t have the capacity to do so, and this bill will provide them the opportunity to rest and be ready to learn a different day.”
According to the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC), 7.1% of children aged 3-17 years have diagnosed anxiety and 3.2% have diagnosed depression. In an attempt to give support to those children, Manley voted in support of House Bill 3271, which expands excused school absences to include mental and behavioral health. During her time in the General Assembly, Manley has worked to improve mental health resources for Illinoisans, including expanding telehealth resources for mental wellness.
“As we have seen more than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health upkeep is crucial,” said Manley. “Providing resources to those with mental illness is an important component of maintaining the health of our community, and I will continue to work to explore additional avenues to get residents the support they need.”