New Bill Would Give Illinois Students Mental Health Days
What matters most about this proposed bill, is the attention it will put on the struggles of so many young people.
Those days, as a parent, when you know your child is a need of a step back. Some moments to breathe. Perhaps finding a professional to talk with would help. I've learned on my own journey that self-care is very necessary and teaching that to young people is monumentally important in preparing them for adulthood.
I don't know your feelings on this subject, but I'm fairly certain you'll see it all from new perspectives. First, from Danielle Angileri, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Northern Illinois executive director, she says:
"Mental health and sick days should be one in the same and dividing them could create additional stigma.
"If you're having a medical problem, which a mental illness is, then you shouldn't have to kind of separate the two."
This bill was proposed at the beginning of the year, and according to a story at wrex.com, senate member are still reviewing. Rockford Senators Steve Stadelman and Dave Syverson have different views on the bill.
"I think whatever we can to do make sure that student's mental health issues are addressed is incredibly important."
"It will help ensure they are successful academically in the classroom and that's in everybody's interest, including the state." Sen. Steve Stadelman (D) - 34th District
"If it is something more serious, treatment may take more than five days, that's why you have your sick days, your excused absence like you do in normal situations."
"If a child is feeling depressed, the last thing the child should be doing is then going home by themselves, or being home by themselves and dwelling on that issue all the more where it becomes a problem." Sen. Dave Syverson, (R) - 35th District
This one is far from finished. No matter where this bill lands, it's a very good thing that mental illness and young people will be the topic of many conversations in Springfield.
To get yourself more comfortable with having good conversations with the young people in your circle of influence, please visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).