A new law in Oregon allows students to take “mental health days” just as they would sick days.
The teens behind the bill say it’s meant to respond to a mental health crisis in schools. Gov. Kate Brown signed the measure into law last month.
The Oregon Health Authority reports suicide is the second-leading cause of death among those in the state age 10 to 34. Nearly 17% of eighth graders say they’ve considered taking their own life within the last 12 months.
Hailey Hardcastle is an 18-year-old from suburban Sherwood who introduced the bill along with other student leaders. She says it changes the stigma around mental health and encourages kids to be honest with their parents if they’re struggling.
Utah passed a similar law last year.