New bill in Illinois will give students up to five “mental health days”

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KANKAKEE – Students in Illinois will soon be allowed to exercise up to five mental health days as an excused absence from school, without the need for a doctor’s note.

Gov. Pritzker signed a bill into law last month allows excused absences to focus on curbing depression and anxiety levels brought on in children by the pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported mental health emergencies have increased in kids 5 to 17 years old by an average of roughly 27.5% since the coronavirus pandemic began.

As part of the excused absences, school counselors will be required to reach out to a student’s family following a second mental health day request.

The mental health days will go into effect at the start of next year.

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