Mental Health Days Help Kids, But Systemic Barriers Prevent Widespread Use

Many are familiar with the concept of “Mental Health Day”, however it is important to take note of what that means for all of us. Many of us need a day or two to refresh ourselves, breathe, and just be present with ourselves. It’s important that we realize our life stressors whatever they may be, they may be financial, job, or relationship related. Recently many schools have recognized the need for kids to have mental health days off from school, however there are barriers that affect many kids from being able to take time off for their mental health.

Many American parents feel that school adds even more stress to their kids lives. Studies done by Verywellmind and parents shows that school is one of the major stress factors among the youth ages 8-17, followed by feeling understood %40, friendships 39%, Covid-19 pandemic 38%, identity 31%, and social media at 31% as well. Studies have also shown that 77% of parents who let their kids have a mental health day noticed a beneficial impact. The kids that took a day off to voice their feelings, relax, or even play video games were able to return to school refreshed. Have a look at the chart below.

Some states had proposed a bill to allow students to take a mental health day whenever needed while other states have not. Here is a graph of the states that allow students to have a day off for their mental health.


  • Some parents are not aware of the idea of a mental health day.
  • Some parents believe their children are too young for mental health issues.
  • Availability is also a factor that leads to being a barrier for some kids.
  • Stigma surrounding mental health can also be a hindrance.
  • Some schools do not offer mental health days while others may not facilitate the idea.
  • Socioeconomic challenges have also shown to be a barrier.



Raising awareness for mental health, and the importance for a day or two to relax is crucial. Kids that have the opportunity to take a mental health day are able to work on their mental health and go back to school refreshed and ready to learn.



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