Illinois students to receive 5 mental health days from school

State News

FILE – In this Aug. 17, 2021, file photo, wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, elementary school students line up to enter school for the first day of classes in Richardson, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

(WTVO) — According to NPR, a new bill signed by Illinois Gov. J.B Pritzker will allow kids to have up to 5 mental health days for the school year.

A major reason for the bill being signed is due to the impact the pandemic has taken on kids throughout the country.

“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,” said State Representative, Barbara Hernandez.

The hope for this bill is for kids to get the help they need. In the beginning of the pandemic, mental health emergencies skyrocketed from months March through May.

A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that mental health emergencies increased 24% for kids aged 5 to 11 years old, and 31% for kids 12 to 17 during those months.

Hernandez, who’s also a co-sponsor for the bill, believes these 5 mental health days could potentially be the answer to kids struggling with mental health.

“I am really excited for this. I think it will help students, parents and teachers, and can help them understand what’s going on in their students’ lives,” Hernandez stated.

The new Illinois mental health bill will be going into effect January, 2022.

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