CHICAGO – To help support Illinois students and promote mental health care, state Rep. Justin Slaughter, D-Chicago, recently supported legislation to include mental health days in students’ excused absences.
“This pandemic has taken a heavy toll on all of us, and our students are no exception,” said Slaughter. “Our children have had to endure significant changes in their daily routines, and many have had to spend long periods of time away from their friends, extracurricular activities and favorite teachers. We must continue to support our students in any way we can to make sure that they are prepared for success, and that includes ensuring time to care for their mental and emotional wellbeing.”
Slaughter helped pass House Bill 576, which would amend the Illinois School Code to allow students to use excused absences for mental health days. After a year of pandemic closures, civil unrest and economic uncertainty, youth across the nation have been struggling to maintain positive mental health. This legislation seeks to address these concerns by supporting students and giving them the time that they need to ensure that their mental health is taken care of.
“The mental wellbeing of our students can be often overlooked, and this legislation helps us make sure that children, teens and their parents have the ability to prioritize all aspects of their health,” said Slaughter. “As a father, I look forward to continuing to fight for a brighter future for all children in our state and supporting measures that put our students first.”