Normalize Taking Mental Health Days

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Written by: Jaedin Turner, Social Media Manager

High school can be one of the most stressful times in someone’s life. Homework, exams, relationships and even after-school activities or sports add to the stress of a teenager. That doesn’t even account for all of the life changes or family struggles that someone goes through during that time in their life. At times, it can be so overwhelming that people just need a break. Students should be encouraged to take mental health days because of the overwhelming amount of stress they are under, they encourage overall health and wellness and it helps students to cope with performance pressure. 

According to the APA (American Psychological Association) website, 31% of teens feel overwhelmed, 30% feel sad or depressed and 36% feel extra tired all as a result of stress. When a student feels so stressed that it affects their mood and makes them feel overwhelmed it is necessary to take a break and not just “push through it”. Taking mental health days can be seen as weak or an easy way out, but they actually make you stronger. By taking a day/step away from what is stressing you out, you’ll be able to see the full picture, which will greatly benefit you in the long run too. Not only will you feel better mentally, mental health days promote overall physical and mental health.

Taking breaks and mental health days help to improve wellness, productivity and boost performance. www.thewellbeingthesis.org.uk says, “a relaxing break can help facilitate recovery, by returning your mental and psychical systems to their baseline. Additionally, a relaxing break can help to reset your mood, thereby promoting positive wellbeing and reducing stress”. Taking a break from school whenever you deem necessary can actually benefit you in the long run by boosting your productivity and also reducing the amount of stress that you’re under. Promoting positive wellbeing is one of the first steps to preventing teenage suicide. Performance pressure is just one of the many reasons that students should take mental health days when necessary.

Performance pressure can include anything from the pressure that goes hand-in-hand with achieving good grades to performing well in after-school sports and extracurricular activities. Many students feel pressured to get good grades because it is engraved in their minds that without them they won’t get into the college they want and will be unable to get scholarships. Sports can be a major stressor for those same students as well as others because by having an off day or feeling like they underperformed can make them question themselves and their abilities. By being allowed a mental health day from their sport they are able to take a step back, see the whole picture and realize it was just an off day or a couple of small mistakes.

Students should be able to take mental health days because of the amount of stress they are under, they promote overall health and wellness and can help students deal with pressure to perform well. High school can be either one of the best or the worst times of your life and by taking mental health days when necessary it can help to assure that everyone gets more out of their education in school. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 10-34 according to the National Instiute of Mental Health organization. Maybe mental health days are one way that we can help prevent suicide from happening.