State Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) introduced new legislation that would allow New York students to take mental health days.
Current state law requires schools to develop their own attendance policies and to determine which absences will be considered excused and unexcused.
Under Hoylman’s bill, mental or behavioral health issues would be acceptable reasons for a student’s absence from school. It would also require the New York State Education Department to implement the change in the law.
“We need to recognize suicide and self-harm among young New Yorkers as the major public health crisis that it is, demolish the stigma around mental health care, and do everything within our power to help kids who are struggling seek treatment,” said Hoylman, a Democrat. “An absence from school should never be a barrier to mental health treatment for a child in New York State.”