Should Bucks Give Students Mental Health Days?

Courtesy+of+Unsplash

Courtesy of Unsplash

Alyssa Allebach, Centurion Staff

Illinois has passed a new law that allows students to take up to five mental health days off per year. Is this a rule Bucks should implement in their system?
If students were allowed the privilege to take mental health days, they would not be required by the school to provide a doctor’s note for their absence.
Since the pandemic has started, life has changed for students and how they are learning. Students have had to discover how to use platforms like Zoom and Canvas to be able to attend class virtually so they can stay safe.
Students have had to adjust to the new normal and it has been challenging and stressful.
Dannie Stewart, a communications major, explains that “the pandemic has been really hard for me because I have not been able to see my friends from school in-person. I used to be able to socialize with my friends in-between classes to de-stress.”
Switching classes to being online has caused students to lose their outlet to burn off stress. They need some way to get a break and incorporating mental health days is a great way to do that.
Stewart goes on to say, “It would be good for Bucks to permit students to take a mental health day. Students would be able to take time to focus on themselves and recuperate, so they can go back to their classes refreshed and ready to work.”
Students should be able to take mental health days to reduce their stress, but there are also other techniques students could use to manage their stress.
James Gilligan, a counselor at Bucks, explains that students have been more stressed due to the pandemic, “especially those who had a family member die or were affected with Covid-19.” Students “have complained about feeling lonely and frustrated” which can increase their anxiety or stress.
Though there are tips to combat stress from building up, Gilligan recommends taking breaks from your problems and getting enough sleep.
Another counselor at Bucks, Mandy Reilly, wants students to seek help and talk about the problems they are facing, instead of holding it all in.
“The focus on mental health has increased mental health awareness” said Reilly, “all of the counselors here at Bucks received special training so that we are now certified to provide telemental health services.”
Meeting with a counselor is becoming more accessible to people because students can now meet with them over Zoom. If students do not wish to meet with a counselor, the Bucks counselor webpage has self-help techniques for a multitude of mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and insomnia.
The website also has techniques and tips for subjects, such as procrastination, anger, self-esteem, grief, and loneliness.
Bucks is invested in helping their students succeed, and that is evident with all the sources they provide for their students to get help if they need it.
If Bucks were to add five mental health days per year for students to use it would only help towards their cause of supporting and caring for their students’ needs.
To make an appointment with a counselor, call 215-968-8189 or email [email protected]
To access the Bucks counselor webpage go to https://www.bucks.edu/resources/counseling.