Mental Health Day Update: From Pilot to Permanent

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Workandpix in Pixabay public domain

Mental Health can seem like a puzzle sometimes.

Jessica Raman

This fall in the Upper School, the Mental Health Day pilot became permanent. The brainchild of two senior peer leaders who graduated last spring, the mental health day allows students to be excused from school by filling out a form. The purpose of this form is to immediately connect a student with the counseling team at school and to connect the counseling team with that student’s parents. According to Mrs. Josie Woods, Director of Student Support and Upper School Counselor, the counseling team’s main concern is the student’s safety.

Last spring, six students took advantage of a mental health day; and none of them took more than one. Only one student had a quiz the day they took a mental health day, suggesting that the program is not being used to avoid quizzes. Later on, the student was required to complete the quiz, because quizzes and other graded assignments are not excused by a mental health day.
Mrs. Woods noted that “students who used it felt that it was helpful” because they were able to get what they needed out of a mental health day, whether it be going for a walk, sleeping in, having a meaningful conversation with a parent, or even seeking help from outside of school. Because of this success, Mrs. Woods, Mr. Westermann, and Mr. Mclane announced that this program is now permanent.

Students with questions on the mental health day are welcome to ask Mrs.Woods or Mr. Westermann. The mental health day is one of many resources available to students. Others are included in this padlet, which is also linked in every edition of Next Week in the Upper School.